PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee (CHAY’-fee) has signed legislation rolling back criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
Chafee announced the signing Wednesday night after the General Assembly ended its formal session. Chafee, an independent, had been expected to sign the bill into law.
Adults caught with an ounce or less of marijuana would face a $150 civil fine. Minors would also have to complete a drug awareness program and community service.
The previous state law made possession of small amounts of marijuana a misdemeanor. Violators had faced possible jail time and fines up to $500.
Fourteen other states have decriminalized possession of limited amounts of marijuana.