Rhode Island Law De-criminalizing Pot Takes Effect

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A new law de-criminalizing marijuana use in Rhode Island kicks in Monday.

Under the law there is no longer the penalty of jail time for anyone caught with small amounts of pot. Instead they'll face a $150 fine.

The issue has many divided. Critics worry the law will lead to more people smoking pot.

"We don't even have drunk driving sewed up. We don't even have that. I mean, we're still losing up to 25 people every year in our state, you know, to drunk driving, alcohol-related crashes," Mothers Against Drunk Driving Executive Director Gabrielle Abbate said.

Others, like resident Deverine Allen, don't think the new law will change anything.

"People who are into marijuana, they're going to have the one ounce on them anyway regardless if there is a law or there is not a law," Allen said.

Rhode Island is also preparing to open its first medical marijuana dispensaries. It's now one of 13 states to decriminalize marijuana.

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