SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I., Feb. 8, 2018 /Weed Wire/ — A new report compiled by Peter Phipps, a professor of journalism at the University of Rhode Island, and students in his Media and Law course found that Rhode Island police officers continue to devote resources to enforcing laws against marijuana even after possession of small amounts was decriminalized in 2013.
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In Florida, on May 9, 2016, the Orlando City Council voted 4-3 to approve a measure that allows law enforcement officers to issue civil fines for simple marijuana possession of 20 grams or less.
Following its neighboring city of Tampa, Fla., the city of St. Petersburg, Fla., is considering an ordinance that would decriminalize marijuana, according to an April 28, 2016, report by Fox 13. On April 1, 2016, the penalty for possession of 20 grams or less of marijuana in Tampa shifted from arrests to citations.
The number of marijuana related offenses in the state of Vermont is on the rise. In 2013, the state repealed criminal penalties for possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or five ounces of hashish to just a civil fine of $200 for the first offense.
Since recreational marijuana legalization in Washington and Colorado, many states have begun to ease marijuana laws and punishments. Overall, it seems that arrest rates are down for the now legal drug, with Colorado reporting decreased crime rates, traffic fatalities and an increase in jobs.
Despite arguments that relaxing or completely eliminating marijuana prohibition will lead to negative social consequences; there is a mounting body of evidence to contradict those claims.
In 2011, Pete Holmes, Seattle City Attorney, called for marijuana legalization, according to an op-ed piece he wrote for The Seattle Times. Holmes has even bought marijuana, and broken city rules by bringing it to work with him. Now, it appears Holmes has been targeted by a disgruntled police officer who is unhappy that voters passed I-502.