Last night, Rhode Island State Assembly members voted to decriminalize the personal possession of an ounce or less of marijuana in the Ocean State. The House passed the bill 50-24, and then the Senate endorsed the legislation 28-6. The legislation will now move to be signed by both chambers, and then it heads to the desk of Governor Lincoln Chafee.
Rhode Island SSDP chapters played an integral role in this reform process, and will continue to see the passage of the legislation through to the end. Throughout the last semester, RI SSDPers canvassed local neighborhoods to gather grassroots support, wrote several op-eds and LTE’s to local newspapers, lobbied representatives, and even testified before lawmakers in support of passing the legislation. Then SSDP contacted lawmakers to support Assembly bills S2253/H7092, and helped gather support for it’s passage last night. Overall, it’s been a long process, but we couldn’t be happier with the results.
However, this is not over yet. Governor Chafee has not commented on whether or not he will sign the bill into law, stating that he will review the legislation when it crosses his desk. If you are a Rhode Island resident, take action today by asking Governor Chafee to support this important legislation.