I think most people can agree that, with marijuana having such an impact on today’s world we are closer than we have ever been to legalizing marijuana throughout all states, than we have been before. This past Thursday the Illinois House approved a measure that would result in a ticket instead of being arrested if found in possession of small amounts of marijuana. Minimal pot possession would go from being an offense with a large fine up to $2,500 along with the potential to end up in jail for a year to now being handled more like a traffic citation: a fine of $125, and  no court time.

This measure will count for people who are found in possession  of 15 grams or less , almost the amount of over 20 cigarette size doobies.  Kelly Cassidy who is a Sponsoring Rep. D-Chicago states the measure would not override rules and regulations in cities  like Chicago that currently have fines in place for cannabis possession but its true intention is to develop a uniform penalty throughout the state and getting rid of the option for police to detain individuals who are in possession of having small amounts of cannabis.

“We currently have a patchwork of local ordinances where there is the possibility of getting a ticket but not a given that you’ll get a ticket, so it’s an open question where you go whether you’re going to get arrested or get a ticket,” Cassidy stated. “That creates a system whereby it depends on where you live, and what you look like, and unfortunately more often than not, it is folks who are black and brown who are being arrested, who are being pulled off the streets, pulled away from their jobs and their families and put into our jails and prisons.”

The House Bill was put into place days after Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alverez  stated her office would stop proceeding on cases for people who were caught with low level cannabis possession for individuals who have less than three arrests or tickets.

Every journey starts with a single step and on the journey to legalize marijuana or decriminalize cannabis in one way or another Chicago has taken a big first step and hopefully in the near future there will be a marijuana program that will universally fit the state’s needs.


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