Illinois Senate Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Bill


Illinois lawmakers are once again trying to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

The Senate passed a bill on Tuesday that would make possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a civil offense, rather than a criminal offense.  Instead of going to jail, offenders would have to pay a fine of up to $200. 

Winnebago County State’s Attorney Joe Bruscato (D) says he’s not completely against the idea, but he’s concerned about an increase in marijuana use.

“Individuals who are using marijuana could potentially be people who are abusing [harder] drugs, or they’re using that drug as a gateway to another drug,” said Bruscato.  “We always want to … make sure someone doesn’t have a budding addiction problem.”

Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-IL) vetoed last year’s decriminalization bill, which made possessing up to 15 grams of marijuana a civil offense.  The bill is now being considered in the Illinois House.

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