A N A C T
RELATING TO FOOD AND DRUGS -- UNIFORM CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES ACT
It is enacted by the General Assembly as follows:
SECTION 1. Section 21-28-4.15 of the General Laws in Chapter 21-28 entitled "Uniform Controlled Substances Act" is hereby amended to read as follows:
21-28-4.15. Employment of person under age eighteen (18). -- (1) It shall be unlawful for any person eighteen (18) years of age or older to hire, employ or otherwise use any person under eighteen (18) years of age who is at least three (3) years his or her junior to manufacture, transport, carry, sell, prepare for sale or offer for sale a controlled substance provided, however, that the provisions of this subsection shall not apply to individuals enrolled in a pharmacy training program approved by the director.
(2) Any person who violates this section with respect to:
(a) A controlled substance classified in schedules I and II, except the substance classified as marijuana is guilty of a crime and upon conviction shall be imprisoned for not less than fifteen (15) years and may be imprisoned for a term up to life and fined not more than five hundred thousand dollars ($500,000). In all such cases, the justice imposing sentence shall impose a minimum sentence of fifteen (15) years imprisonment and may only impose a sentence less than that minimum if he or she finds that substantial and compelling circumstances exist which justify imposition of the alternative sentence. The finding may be based upon the character and background of the defendant, the corporation of the defendant with law enforcement authorities, the nature and circumstances of the offense, and/or the nature and quality of the evidence presented at trial. If a sentence which is less than imprisonment for a term of fifteen (15) years is imposed, the trial justice shall set forth on the record the circumstances which he or she found as justification for imposition of the lesser sentence.
(b) A controlled substance classified in schedule III or IV is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than twenty (20) years or fined not more than forty thousand dollars ($40,000) or both;
(c) A controlled substance classified in schedule V or marijuana is guilty of a crime and upon conviction may be imprisoned for not more than one year or fined not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or both.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect upon passage.