Illinois Lawmakers Move Closer to Decriminalizing Marijuana

Illinois has moved one step closer to decriminalizing marijuana in small amounts.

The bill cleared the Illinois House on Thursday afternoon, 62-53. House Bill 218 would remove criminal penalties for possession of less than 15 grams (roughly half an ounce) of marijuana and protect against the penalty remaining on criminal records after a year.

Anyone in possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana would be ticketed and fined a minimum of $55, up to $125.

The bill’s sponsors note that if the law is enacted, there would be about 115 fewer inmates in the state and a potential savings of approximately $29 million over the first 10 years.

“This will help make the law in Illinois uniform across the state instead of being a patchwork where some cities have decriminalized cannabis while others have options to arrest or issue a ticket under municipal ordinance,” Dan Linn, executive director for the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, a marijuana advocacy group.

– Read the entire article at The Huffington Post.