With a 62 to 53 vote, the Illinois House of Representatives gave passage Thursday to House Bill 218, a proposal to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis.
Under the proposed law, those caught possessing up to 15 grams of cannabis would no longer face the possibility of jail time, but instead would face a ticket of no more than $125. Under current Illinois law, the possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor which can result in imprisonment for up to a year.
“This will help make the law in Illinois uniform across the state instead of being a patchwork where some cities have decriminalized cannabis while others have options to arrest or issue a ticket under municipal ordinance,” says Dan Linn, executive director Illinois chapter of NORML.
House Bill 218 has now been sent to the Senate, which is expected to consider the proposal next month.
On Tuesday, the Illinois House passed House Bill 3299, a separate cannabis-related proposal that extends the state’s medical cannabis pilot program.