Rhode Island joined 13 other states that have decriminalized marijuana on Apr. 1. Including Colorado and Washington (both legalized it in November), there are now 16 states with liberalized cannabis laws.
The new Rhode Island law reduces the penalty for possessing less than an ounce from a misdemeanor to a $150 ticket. Gov. Chafee signed the bill into law last June.
The first state to decriminalize marijuana was Oregon in 1973. The other states are Alaska, California, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, Nevada, New York, North Carolina and Ohio.