Despite cannabis decriminalization throughout the state in 2013, Rhode Island police issued about 5,000 citations for cannabis possession through 2017, according to a University of Rhode Island study. The study, conducted by journalism Professor Peter Phipps and students in his Media and Law course, analyzed police department data representing about 85 percent of the state’s population.

Each cannabis citation carries a minimum fine of $150.

“Before this survey by journalism students at URI, no one knew how police in Rhode Island were enforcing the 2013 marijuana possession law. The class found stark differences from community to community. Among the state’s largest cities, Warwick and Pawtucket aggressively wrote marijuana citations, while Providence and Woonsocket police were more laissez faire. In 2015, for example, Warwick wrote 10 times as many citations as Providence. Overall, the class found police write most citations at traffic stops and cite males six times as frequently as females.” – Phipps in a statement

The study also found that African-Americans were disproportionately cited for cannabis possession, comprising 39 percent of all citations, despite only comprising just 8 percent of the state’s population. A 2013 American Civil Liberties Union study found that cannabis use rates among Blacks and Whites are about the same. That report also indicated that between 2001 and 2010, African-Americans were three times more likely to be arrested in Rhode Island for cannabis possession.

The good news is: Cannabis law enforcement has dropped 50 percent since statewide decriminalization and several municipalities have seen citations plummet. Including:

  • Bristol, which had 84 citations in 2015 and just 19 in the fall of last year.
  • Cranston, where police arrested 132 for cannabis possession in 2012 but have written just 188 citations since then.
  • Cumberland, which arrested 46 for cannabis possession in 2012 and has written just 33 citations since.
  • Narragansett, where 99 citations were issued in 2015 and 2016 but only 9 in 2017.
  • Tiverton, which made 23 cannabis arrests in 2012. From 2013 to 2017 the total is less than 23.

The bad news is: Police are still issuing citations at all and some municipalities are still issuing them in bunches. Including:

  • East Greenwich, which issued just 12 citations from 2014 to 2016 but issued 19 last year.
  • Pawtucket, which issues between 100 and 150 citations per year
  • Warwick, which has issued 934 possession citations since decriminalization took effect.
  • Westerly, which has issued 352 citations since the reforms took effect.

Rhode Island is often in the discussion of the next state to legalize cannabis for adults. The legislature has made overtures to create a legalization committee and Gov. Gina Raimondo has indicated she supports legalization but said last March she was “not in a rush” due to public safety and regulatory concerns.

Do you own a cannabis industry business? Create a listing in our directory and get discovered by new clients - Click Here
.

Tags: , , | Categories: Marijuana Culture Science & Research

Learn about cannabis businesses:

View the directory | Get featured here

  • Xtraction Services

    Xtraction Services provides highly efficient extraction equipment to qualified operators. We ensure the equipment is proactively maintained and operated with efficiency, all for a fixed price per gram produced. We provide comprehensive training and oversight to ensure your team can efficiently operate. Additionally, we provide regular updates to software and hardware, and a rigorous ALL-INCLUSIVE maintenance schedule to ensure peak performance all with no upfront costs.

  • Ganjapreneur.com

    Ganjapreneur is a news and networking resource for cannabis professionals. Our ultimate mission is to help the cannabis industry grow, by advancing the cause of cannabis normalization through responsible business.

  • CannaPlanners

    CannaPlanners is a full service design and web agency, dedicated to normalizing the cannabis industry through professional and beautiful design services. From logos to packaging design, trade-show materials to t-shirts and hats - we've got all your creative needs covered. Our turnkey WordPress site builder allows for great-looking sites at affordable rates. Let our creative team tell your story!

  • Precision Extraction Solutions

    Precision® Extraction Solutions is the industry leader in cannabis extraction equipment, training and consulting. Precision® extraction systems are world renowned for quality, safety and precise operation. Costing half of comparable CO2 systems, with nine times more efficient processing, more award winning concentrates are made with Precision® than any other brand.

  • 4blooms

    4blooms is San Diego’s first marijuana-specific marketing agency. The agency works with businesses involved in all aspects of the cannabis industry across the U.S., from growers to dispensaries to smoke shops. The team’s deep experience in web development, design and marketing makes 4blooms able to handle all aspects of business operations.

  • Mac & Fulton Talent Partners

    Mac & Fulton Talent Partners is the premier recruiting agency for the indoor gardening and cannabis industries. For our client companies and candidates, M&F takes on the role of trusted partner and advisor in the development of long-term relationships. To this end, M&F's approach to recruiting and staffing in the cannabis space is founded on the understanding that our success is always determined by yours.

  • TRIM Media House

    TRIM Media House is a full-service digital marketing agency with a heavy focus in visual content creation, website design, photography, and videography. If you are trying to navigate the digital arena when it comes to your brand, we would love to talk to you!

  • Wise Public Relations, Inc.

    We help our clients win by outsmarting and outmaneuvering the competition rather than outspending them. That’s our specialty. Through a strategic mix of marketing disciplines, all working together to create real momentum that give our clients a critical competitive advantage in the marketplace. MedMen, Cloudponics, Style & Stigma. We take great pride in the work we do and accountability for the opinions we shape. We have fun doing it. And we hope it shows.

  • LC Solutions Michigan PLLC

    LC Solutions offers clients timely accrual based bookkeeping, cost accounting strategies, planning, and consulting services. Our model supports an ongoing client relationship, helping to ensure accurate accounting records throughout the year. We are professional, patient, and creative in our approach. LC Solutions specializes 100% in serving Michigan’s Medical Cannabis industry.

  • Craft Cannabis Marketing

    We offer two decades of experience providing advertising, branding, and web design solutions to the most recognizable brands from around the globe. Simply put, we decided to take the expertise we gleaned working with big-name companies you know and love and bring it to the emerging cannabis industry. We’re more than a mere agency – we’re cannabis advocates.

  • California Cannabis CPA

    California Cannabis CPA is the premiere CPA firm that helps individuals and companies working in the Cannabis Industry with all tax planning, compliance, preparation, savings, and peace of mind.

  • eBottles 420

    The ultimate online resource for packaging supplies: we offer multiple options for every item you would possibly need, from vape cartridges to concentrate jars to child-resistant bottles.

Looking for a career in the cannabis industry?

Upload your resume and get discovered by industry recruiters for only $1/month

Post Your Resume View all jobs

Recent Job Postings

Additional resources:

Cannabis Books

Learn about the endocannabinoid system & more!

Cannabis Stocks

Find publicly-traded cannabis & hemp companies

Medical Research

Explore our library of medical cannabis studies

Subscribe for daily cannabis news, announcements, and business insights.

Stay informed about the latest cannabis industry news, policy progress, and business developments.