illinois marijuana
Ending Marijuana Prohibition

Illinois Senate Committee Approves Marijuana Bill That Would Lower Penalties

illinois marijuana
(via firedoglake.com)

There is a lot of activity right now in regards to marijuana reform efforts in Illinois. The battle to implement the medical marijuana law that was passed last session has been ongoing. Fortunately license winners have been announced, and hopefully safe access will be coming soon to Illinois’ roughly 1,000 medical marijuana patients. There is also a bill that has been introduced that would legalize marijuana. Yesterday, a Senate Committee in Illinois voted 13 to 1 to approve a marijuana bill that would lower penalties for marijuana possession. Per The Joint Blog:

If approved into law, the proposal would reduce the penalty for the possession of up to 5 grams of cannabis to a simple misdemeanor with a maximum jail sentence of 30 days, down from a serious misdemeanor which can result in a 6 month jail sentence.

“I think you have members of both parties right now willing to look at some of our criminal sentences and make some common sense reforms to help control some of the costs in the system,” says Senator Jack Whitver.

I’m glad to see that this bill has some legs. However, it doesn’t go far enough. It still requires a jail sentence, albeit a lower one. I dream of a day when people in Illinois are not thrown into a jail cell and given a criminal record for a plant that is safer than alcohol.

  • Uncle Arthur

    A jail sentence? This is not marijuana reform. Why does there have to be a jail sentence for marijuana in 2015? Quit taking people to jail for weed.

  • Illinois has serious budget problems. They are edging into solving them. But I must say – 5 grams? (less than .2 oz) 30 days? Ridiculous.

  • Silly Rabbit

    Step right direction but 30 days for 5 grams, almost waste of time but it is at least a step forward …. Albeit a very small baby step …..

    And you still get the gift of wearing the braclets, finger prints, etc. – Just for a shorter time ….. Silly Rabbits!

  • stellarvoyager

    Is this legislation some kind of cruel joke that is supposed to be a “compromise”?

  • Ali Nagib

    This is not a real bill, and there is no Sen Whitver in the Illinois General Assembly

    • Uncle Arthur

      The Joint Blog, the source for this post, corrected their story. Sen. Whitver is from Iowa, hence this is about Iowa and not Illinois as erroneously reported. Still, any amount of jail time is messed up.