Governor McKee signs legislation reclassifying certain drug possession charges
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) – Governor Dan McKee was joined by other state officials and community advocates to ceremoniously sign legislation Tuesday morning amending the Uniform Controlled Substances Act.
The legislation reclassifies simple possession of 10 grams or less of certain controlled substances as a misdemeanor charge rather than a felony.
Reclassifying as a misdemeanor charge makes it punishable for up to two years.
“Make no mistake, we are as committed as we have ever been to prosecuting drug dealers as felons – and this new law does nothing to protect them,” said Attorney General Peter Neronha. “But those who simply possess drugs – who are addicted and cannot escape the cycle of addiction – faced barriers to employment, housing, and other opportunities to turn their lives around because they had a felony hanging around their neck.”
The signing took place at Project Weber/RENEW, a nonprofit that provides addiction recovery support, as well as harm reduction and other services.