PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Rhode Island is poised to become the 15th state in the nation to decriminalize marijuana, a move that reflects big shifts in public opinion on America's favorite illicit drug.
State lawmakers overwhelmingly passed legislation last week that would replace criminal penalties for possession of an ounce or less of pot with something more like a traffic ticket.
Supporters say Americans are increasingly opposed to harsh penalties for pot use. A recent Rasmussen poll shows support for legalizing marijuana is up to 56 percent, the highest ever.
Supporters say no one should get a criminal record for possessing a small amount of a substance less harmful than alcohol. But critics say pot is far from benign and that decriminalization sends a bad message to teens and could ultimately lead to legalization.
To comment, the following rules must be followed:
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content, but the station is under no legal obligation to do so.
If you believe a comment violates the above rules, please use the Flagging Tool to alert a Moderator.
Flagging does not guarantee removal.
Multiple violations may result in account suspension.
Decisions to suspend or unsuspend accounts are made by Station Moderators.
Questions may be sent to email@example.com. Please provide detailed information.