Illinois has become the 21st state to decriminalize simple marijuana possession. The law, effective immediately, makes possession of a personal amount of marijuana a civil violation punishable only by a fine of $100-$200 – similar to a traffic ticket – instead of jail time.
Gov. Bruce Rauner signed the bill into law on July 29th, the Marijuana Policy Project reported.
Chris Lindsey of the Marijuana Policy Project stated, “We applaud Gov. Rauner and the legislature for replacing Illinois’s needlessly draconian marijuana possession law with a much more sensible policy. This commonsense legislation will prevent countless citizens from having their lives turned upside down by a marijuana possession arrest.”
A person in possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana will now receive a civil violation punishable only by a fine of $100-$200, instead of receiving a misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500.
With the new laws, adults in Illinois are no longer punished with jail time, and civil offenses will be erased in order to prevent permanent criminal records.