Cannabis has now been Decriminalized in Illinois.
The laws that keep passing in the USA are astounding (In a totally good way) andIllinois has now become the 21st state to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana. A state Governor, Bruce Rauner signed passed the law SB-2228, which reduces the charges associated with being in possession of small amounts of cannabis, degrading from a potential stay in prison to a fine of up to $200.
Since the new law was passed, should you be caught with 10g or under of cannabis, you will be cited and fined up to $200. This is a significant change of heart for Rauner who vetoed the bill last year, but after alterations (the original bill called for up to 15 grams of cannabis and placed the fine at $55 – $125) were made, he agreed to this. He also said that penalties for petty marijuana offenses were too severe and that “criminal prosecution of cannabis possession is also a drain on public resources.”
However, as with every single cannabis related bill that is discussed or passed, there has been some opposition. State law enforcers have been somewhat unenthusiastic towards the passing of this law, fearing an increase in cannabis use and related crimes although the basis of this is unclear as there has not been such a huge increase in the use in other legal states. Laimutis Nargelenas, a former lobbyist for the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police and the current Police Chief for the Springfield Park District has stated the bill was “giving individuals more opportunities for drug usage,”
Tim McGraw, founder and CEO of Revolution Enterprises, voiced his opinions on the passing of the bill, stating he thought the move was unquestionably positive – ‘’we should not be locking people up for cannabis. It’s ridiculous. Anybody who gets locked in a cage for a plant that gives them therapeutic value,” he told CULTURE publication. “I think that they see beyond the saving of lives and doing lots of good for people and it being a great medicine. I think that finally the administration is seeing how it can economically help the state.”
Coming into immediate effect makes IL the 3rd largest state in the USA to decriminalize marijuana and small amount possession to be punishable by fine only.
Controversially the new law has also introduced new guidelines for what is considered too impaired to drive. Before the law came in, having any trace of marijuana in your blood was automatically enough for you to be considered ‘impaired’ but marijuana advocates and campaigners have long criticized this saying marijuana can stay in a person’s system for several weeks. The new guidelines have set the standard to 5 nanograms of THC, marijuana’s intoxicating chemical, in a driver’s blood within two hours of consumption.
NB:- The Associated Press was first to report the bill signing. A state official with knowledge of the governor’s decision told the AP about the signing but spoke on the condition of anonymity because a formal announcement had not yet been made.
Photo Credit = medicalcannabis.net
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