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Illinois Senate Approves Marijuana Decriminalization Bill


Illinois medical marijuana hb 1Seventeen states have decriminalized marijuana. More and more cities are decriminalizing marijuana as well. One of those cities is Philadelphia, which has already saved over one million dollars by doing so. Currently simple marijuana possession in Illinois carries a penalty of $2,500 and up to a year in jail. Illinois’ Senate recently passed a bill that would lower that penalty down to no jail time and a fine of up to $125. Per the Chicago Tribune:

Republican Sen. Jason Barickman of Champaign voted for the measure, saying it would help ease the state’s financial woes by reducing court costs.

“Every person you talk to in this state wants us to find ways to save money,” Barickman said. “This legislation gives us a way to do that. It will save some money at the state level, and give us the opportunity to save money at the local level.”

During consideration in the House last month, Cassidy said the measure wouldn’t override laws in cities like Chicago that already have fines in place for marijuana possession but is aimed at creating a uniform penalty throughout the state and eliminating the option for police to arrest people carrying small amounts of pot.

The bill’s sponsors want to hold off on sending it to the Governor to sign until some language tweaks can be approved. If that happens, and the Governor signs the bill, it would take effect at the beginning of the next year. Marijuana decriminalization is obviously not as good as full legalization, but it’s far better than full prohibition that comes with a fine that costs far more than my car does, and jail time, and the ‘marijuana scarlet letter.’


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Johnny Green


  1. ” Marijuana decriminalization is obviously not as good as full legalization, but it’s far better than full prohibition…” No, I call BS. Illinois legalized MM back in ’78…they dropped the ball on that after ALL that TAX MONEY & PAID WAGES to these worthless self-serving politicians. Once AGAIN, 2013 MM passes…it’s now 5/2015 and we STILL HAVE N-O-T-H-I-N-G! Now this SH*T! Illinois is in debt WAAAAY over it’s head and they KEEP WASTING OUR TIME & MONEY ON BULLSH*T. Either SH*T or GET OFF THE TOILET! Legalize it across the board, full on, full out, EMBRACE IT! Illinois COULD HAVE BEEN the leader in this movement, but the politicians, ALL OF THEM, chose to self-serve THEIR corporate gods. Look at it now, in debt, unemployment sky rocketing, infrastructure crumbling, corruption rampant, education/schools being shuttered, communities turning into ghost towns with nothing left but the old & poorest of the poor. So I disagree with the author, this slow bleed-out of our time & resources is CRIMINAL! In what world does hard core conservative states like Texas, Florida, Kentucky for gawds sakes is more progressive & future-moving than Illinois? Stop the insanity…LEGALIZE!

  2. I want everyone to know that when the bill was introduced I sent senator Barickman an email about the bill and he responded that he disagreed with me and couldn’t vote for it. I believe the emails, letters, and calls changed his vote. We have to keep at it.

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