Bill to Decriminalize Marijuana Awaits Governor’s Signature

The decision to decriminalize possession of marijuana in Illinois is now in the hands of Governor Bruce Rauner. The new legislation has passed the House and the Senate despite some Republican opposition. The legislation would fine individuals $55 to $125 for possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana and any record of the ticket would be expunged after six months.

Rauner, who supports prison reform, has an opportunity to make progress on his goal of reducing the prison population by 25 percent in 10 years. However, there has been no indication from the Governor’s Office of whether he will sign the bill into law.

There is some debate over whether this bill would actually decrease the prison population. Rauner’s prison and sentencing reform task force showed there would not be a significant impact on prison populations because individuals charged with such small amount of marijuana are rarely sentenced to prison.

Decision to decriminalize pot in Illinois lies in Gov. Rauner’s hands, June 3, 2015,
Pot decriminalization decision in Illinois in Rauner’s hands, June 3, 2015,

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