Illinois Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Cannabis

illinoisIllinois Governor Bruce Rauner signed a bill into law today that removes criminal penalties for the possession of small amounts of cannabis; the law takes effect immediately.

Under the new law – Senate Bill 2228 – the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis will be, at most, a $200 fine. Prior to the law taking effect, the possession of up to 2.5 grams of marijuana was a class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500, and the possession of 2.5 to 10 grams was a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500.

“We applaud Governor Rauner and the legislature for replacing Illinois’s needlessly draconian marijuana possession law with a much more sensible policy”, says Chris Lindsay, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project. “This commonsense legislation will prevent countless citizens from having their lives turned upside down by a marijuana possession arrest.”

Illinois is now the 21st state in the nation, in addition to the District of Columbia, to remove the threat of jail time for personal cannabis possession.

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