Rhode Island Bill To Criminalize Marijuana Use In Groups Of Three Or More People Is Being Rewritten, Sponsor Says
Published February 14, 2023
By Ben Adlin
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A controversial bill filed in Rhode Island earlier this month would make it illegal to have cannabis at gatherings of three or more people has been withdrawn and is being reworked, its sponsor says. Hosting essentially any social event where marijuana is used or possessed would carry a fine of $500 to $1,000 under the proposal as introduced.
If enacted, the measure would severely limit adults’ ability to use cannabis under Rhode Island’s legalization law, passed by state lawmakers last year, by requiring hosts of more than two other people to take “all reasonable steps” to prohibit the use or possession of “any marijuana or other controlled substances” by anyone at the gathering.
The restriction would be the first of its kind in a state with legal cannabis.
The bill, S 125, was introduced on February 1 by six Senate Democrats but withdrawn from consideration two days later. Reached by email this week, lead sponsor Sen. Walter S. Felag Jr. told Marijuana Moment the measure is currently being revised.
“The legislation has been withdrawn for more editing, rewrite,” he said in an email.
Felag did not indicate how the revised bill might differ from the original, nor did he answer questions from Marijuana Moment about the rationale behind the bill in a state where cannabis is now legal for adults over 21.