Last year the State of Illinois passed a medical marijuana bill. However, Illinois’ medical marijuana program has yet to get off the ground due to many delays. Illinois’ new Governor, Bruce Rauner, announced winners of medical marijuana cultivation and distribution licenses so hopefully things finally get moving. In the meantime, there are two bills in Illinois’ Legislature that deal with marijuana reform. One bill would decriminalize marijuana possession, and another would fully legalize marijuana for all adults over 21 years old. Per The Joint Blog:
House Bill 218, filed by Representative Kelly Cassidy, would make the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis a $100 ticket with no possibility of arrest or imprisonment. The proposal would also change the penalty for possession of over 30 grams, but under 500, making it a misdemeanor rather than a felony.
Senate Bill 753, filed by Senator Michael Noland, would legalize the possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis, as well as the personal cultivation of up to five cannabis for plants. Senator Noland’s proposal doesn’t authorize cannabis retail outlets.
It’s tough to say what the chances are of either of these bills passing. It was a very hard fought battle to get medical marijuana legalized in Illinois, and even then, Illinois’ version of medical marijuana is one of the most strict in the state. There is no provision for patients to grow marijuana themselves, so legalizing cultivation of up to five plants may be a long shot. However, I’m hopeful that people who are fed up with the delays with the medical marijuana program will push their legislators to do what’s right, and pass full legalization for all adults over 21 in Illinois.