Yesterday evening, Gov. Lincoln Chafee (I) signed our marijuana decriminalization bill into law!
As a result -- starting in 10 months -- people who are apprehended with up to one ounce of marijuana in Rhode Island will be given a $150 ticket, rather than being arrested and jailed.
(The current law imposes up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $500.)
We couldn’t have achieved this monumental victory without the support of our dues-paying members. According to our records, you haven’t yet donated to MPP this year. Could you please do so today, so that we can pass more laws in more states this year?
The Rhode Island victory wouldn’t have been possible if MPP had not retained a professional lobbying firm in Providence, assisted in drafting and amending the bill, organized testimony before committees of the state legislature, generated constituent phone calls and personal visits to key policymakers, and generated an enormous amount of positive media coverage.
The Rhode Island Office of the Public Defender, the Rhode Island State Nurses Association, and the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers also provided influential support at the legislative committee hearings.
This lobbying juggernaut also benefited greatly from the leadership of the two bill sponsors -- Sen. Josh Miller (D) and Rep. John Edwards (D) -- as well as the advocacy of experts and volunteers from Brown University, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Students for Sensible Drug Policy, the ACLU, OpenDoors, and other allies.
This is what a professional lobbying operation looks like. Please help us do the same thing in other state legislatures -- most urgently in New Hampshire, California, and Illinois.