Illinois Senate passes marijuana decriminalization bill but plans changes
Published on 5/20/15
Illinois is one signature away from joining 17 other states in decriminalizing marijuana. This week the Illinois state senate approved the decriminalization bill 37-19 and after some language cleanup to make the legislation more clear it will make it to the governor's desk. One of the senators sponsoring the bill stated that he believes using marijuana is wrong, however he followed up that he also doesn't believe getting caught wiith pot should ruin a young person's life. If passed, the bill would take the current penalty of $2500 and possibly a year in jail, to a fine up to $125.
Supporters said the measure would keep low-level drug offenders out of the state's clogged jails and prisons. Earlier this year, Rauner announced a goal of reducing the state's prison population by 25 percent over the next 10 years. On Thursday, Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly offered the administration's standard response when asked about pending legislation: "The governor will carefully consider any legislation that crosses his desk."