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  • July 29 2016

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    Illinois: Governor Signs Marijuana Decriminalization Measure

    thumbs_upRepublican Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation today amending the state’s marijuana possession penalties.

    Senate Bill 2228 reduces the penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor (formerly punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine) to a civil fine of no more than $200 — no arrest and no criminal record.

    It also decriminalizes related offenses involving the possession of marijuana paraphernalia.

    Senate Bill 2228 also amends the state’s zero tolerance per se traffic safety law, stating that the presence of THC in blood at levels below 5ng/ml “shall not give rise to any presumption that the person was or was not under the influence of cannabis.”

    The full text of the measure is available here.

    According to the ACLU, Illinois police arrest some 50,000 individuals annually for marijuana possession offenses — ranking #5 in the nation in per capita marijuana possession arrests.

    Illinois becomes the third largest state to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses.

  • July 29 2016

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    Illinois Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession

    Illinois Gov. Rauner just signed SB 2228, which removes criminal penalties for the possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana everywhere in Land of Lincoln. The change in the law is effective immediately.

    Illinoisans or visitors found in possession of marijuana are no longer subject to arrest or jail time.IL_decrim The change also removes the possibility of a harmful criminal record for cannabis possession, which can last a lifetime. Instead, those found in possession would face a simple fine of between $100 and $200.

    Previously in Illinois, possession of up to 2.5 grams of marijuana was a class C misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500; possession of 2.5-10 grams was a class B misdemeanor punishable by up to six months in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,500. More than 100 Illinois communities had already removed local criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession.

    This change comes from MPP’s multi-year effort to help bring fairness to the state’s possession law. Even though many cities and towns had already lowered penalties, but individuals could still be arrested and charged for possession under state law. This change moves the state away from its former patchwork system.

    Illinois is now the 21st state in the nation, in addition to the District of Columbia, to remove the threat of jail time for simple marijuana possession.

    We wish to thank bill sponsors Sen. Heather Steans and Rep. Kelly Cassidy for their strong advocacy for a better system. Their tireless effort on behalf of fairness made this law a reality.

    The post Illinois Governor Signs Bill Decriminalizing Marijuana Possession appeared first on MPP Blog.

  • July 28 2016

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    Northern Mariana Islands May Vote to End Marijuana Prohibition

    2000px-Seal_of_the_Northern_Mariana_Islands.svgSixto Igisomar, a senator serving in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CMNI), a territory of the United States, has pre-filed a measure that would allow residents in CMNI to vote to end marijuana prohibition on November 8. If the referendum is successful, it would establish a law similar to those in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington — implementing a taxed and regulated market for recreational marijuana consumers 21 and older and a medical marijuana program for patients with doctors’ recommendations. It would also allow people to grow up to six mature marijuana plants and 25 immature plants.

    The revenue from marijuana industry and sales taxes would go to building schools, drug education, treatment programs, and CMNI’s pension program. Should the measure pass, CMNI’s government will be expected to accept license applications by April 2017.

    In 2010, the CMNI House of Representatives approved a proposal to end marijuana prohibition, but it failed to pass the Senate. A 2015 medical marijuana bill stalled in the legislature.

    The post Northern Mariana Islands May Vote to End Marijuana Prohibition appeared first on MPP Blog.