Illinois: Governor Sends Marijuana Decriminalization Measure Back To Lawmakers

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday issued an amendatory veto to House Bill 218, which seeks to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses.

As initially approved by the legislature in May, HB 218 reduced personal use possession penalties (up to 15 grams) from a Class A criminal misdemeanor, punishable by up to 6 months in jail, a $1,500 fine, and a criminal record, to a petty offense, punishable by a fine only (up to $125.00) – no arrest, and no criminal record. Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto seeks to decrease the proposed possession limits from 15 grams to 10 grams, whole also seeking to raise fines to $200.00.

Governor Rauner also seeks to lower the state’s proposed per se THC/blood limit from 15ng/ml to 5ng/ml. Under present Illinois law, drivers with any detectable amount of THC in their blood are in violation of the state’s traffic safety laws.

If a majority of lawmakers fail to approve of the Governor’s amendments, the measure will be dead for this year’s legislative session.

To date, 20 states and Washington, DC have passed legislation eliminating the threat of incarceration for marijuana possession offenses via either legalization or decriminalization.

21 thoughts

  1. Apparently, Gov. Rauner didn’t get the word that marijuana is non-toxic and far safer than alcohol or tobacco. Or he, like many so-called conservatives, refuses to accept that reality.

  2. In 1964 I was diagnosed with Osteoarthritis, a advanced form of gang green from a dirty tetanus needle. It wasnt so much the illness caused life liong issues, it was the fever of 115 fried my brain. Chenged the chemical makeup of my brain. In my teens I was diagnosed as being bi-polar and medicated. 1988 I fell from a building 7 stories tall. Massive head trauma. 1996 I had a car accident which resulted in a frontal lobe injury. All of these have lead me to have migraines so sever they shut me down. sounds hurt, light hurts. But being medicated for a myriad of other issues, I found myself needing to be rid of the drugs. that was 9 years ago. I manage my pain, and migraines with pot. Its legal here in Oregon finally. I can remember paying $1500 for a ounce of seedless hydroponic pot.

    I am constantly seeking out new information on pot. There needs to be a rush on research on pot to help the masses with seizures, childhood ailments, adults suffering with pain management issues. Pot doesn’t remove the pain. what Pot does for me it inhibits the formation of the migraine, so I do not get the telltale signs of the pending migraine.
    If you live in a state that does not have pot legalized, you best be moving to one that does. I use pot that is heavier in CBD than THC. I can no smoke it. I vape it the vaporizer removes the CBD – THC crystals from the plant and turns i into a gas which I inhale. I also will use home made gelcap’s filled with Kief, about 0.5mg is enough. The Kief, I use is often 50% CBD and 20-40% THC. This is quick acting and enables me to hit the migraine with a dosage that will kill the migraine. Kief is the raw crystals and hairs of the flowers. It is the highest concentration, that I have found.

  3. Looks like he’s one of those tough-on-crime prohibitionist politicians who, if he had his druthers would keep cannabis completely illegal, or? What’s his motivation? Nail people for drugged driving? More in fines being taken into the public coffers? I guess he just likes dicking over medical marijuana patients get pulled over.

  4. 1. Re: 10 grams “petty offense” possession limit:

    it allows for 400 single tokes, each comprising 25 mg of #16-sifted dry Bwdflowerage (or oregano, or even tobacco) being heated in a #40-screened one-hitter with extended flexible drawtube (hookah hose without the hookah) enabling user to execute the easy-learn vape-not-burn lighting procedure a suitably watchable distance from your eyes.

    2. Blood content testing be damned, but…

    meanwhile everyone get more interested in Bike (local) and Bus (longer distances), help the society get bigger %’s of monoxidecars off the road etc. and “earn” (as premium for good citizenship) further incremental progress as the governor had mentioned.

    Support this measure but cambpaign even harder next year for the next step, logically a legal possession leniency zone of up to 2 grams, 80 Single Tokes for everyone.

    Adjusting to this will be no problem, you just have to get rid of the H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide Joint with its 500 mg or whatever and switch to

    (a) vaporizers up to $600 like the Tuttlinger Volcano

    (b) pen vapes from under $50

    (c) slip flexible drawtube (hookah hose) over the butt end of your one-hitter that you bought somewhere to ease learning the easy-learn heat-not-burn procedure

    (d) make a flexdrawtube one-hitter yourself from some #40 screen and $1.29 worth of parts found in the garage

  5. I’m tired of these pro-marijuana people saying that if the legislature doesn’t approve of the governor’s amendatory veto the measure is dead, when in fact there is another option. The legislature can override the governor and pass the bill as originally sent to the governor. That is the fight that should be made.

  6. He vetos the bill over something so insignificant as a higher fee and a few less grams?


  7. Prohibition is alive and well. Rauner pulls this crap. In New York City, de Blasio, long rumored to be a cannabis consumer himself, has accomplished nothing in reality to rid us of the witch hunt on cannabis consumers.

    If people had a legal place to go, buy and consume such as Dutch style cannabis coffee shops in the City cops should leave them alone as long as they are inside or on the premises. If you can’t smoke it at home and there’s no place else to go you hang out on the street and pass the joint around, with the non-smoking laws and smoking indoor bans at public places.

    Politicians. I am so dissatisfied at the presidential candidates’ positions on legalization, at leas those in the two major parties. I’m looking to the Democrats, and any of their candidates who’s got a real shot at winning is wishy-washy and has a we’ll see attitude. Biden was an ardent prohibitionist, and I’m suspicious as to whether he can evolve toward legalization. Al Gore, VP again on a Biden-Gore ticket, maybe Gore as Prez if he is pro-legalization but he should run with somebody other than Biden. The choices are appalling. The state of our Incarceration Nation is pathetic. Cannabis prohibition is a major contributor to the things the Black Lives Matter movement wants the government to fix, things I have been bitching about on blogs like this for decades.

    Barry, please nudge things along some more toward legalization before you leave office, something to the point where a prohibitionist successor can’t easily undo it. Whatever you can do to prevent further injustices can’t hurt in the long run.

  8. Why is there no option for overriding the veto mentioned in the article? I found that lack puzzling.

    [Paul Armentano responds: Votes from 60 percent of both chambers is needed to override an amendatory veto in Illinois.]

  9. @ Julian,

    That is a perfect example you give of a state–in this case Colorado–passing a legalization law, then later fine-tuning it! Good job!

    Think of all the Coloradoans who didn’t get busted for possession while the advocates and politicians and citizens spent years working out the “perfect” legalization law before legalizing. Kudos to Colorado, and to you for reminding us of that!

  10. The Illinois legislature, especially those who presented the bill, should promote the passage with the governor’s amendments. It’s still a monumental success in a state without a ballot initiative. Take the win and build upon it. “You can steal half hog but you can’t carry a whole hog” (Illinois vernacular).

  11. After thought. We’ve been fighting this fight for so long some of us have DNA markers attesting to it. We can no longer afford the luxury of supporting politicians based on our individual idiosyncrasies but, rather throw our money, yes our money behind groups such as NORML and trust them to play hardball with the Politicos. Momentum is a fickle mistress, stay focused and put your money where it will speak volumes louder than our individual efforts. The bottom line is no longer ideology, it’s money. Give generously to NORML. Our time is at hand.

  12. Yet another politician that needs brought into the lime light for vetoing the will of the people for his personal gain.

    We need to start a petition on to start the impeachment process immediately.
    Same for Chisel Christy

  13. @ apparent outsider,

    I wholeheartedly agree! These are the guys who are beholden to only one group: their rich pay masters.

  14. “That is a perfect example you give of a state–in this case Colorado–passing a legalization law, then later fine-tuning it! Good job! Think of all the Coloradoans who didn’t get busted for possession while the advocates and politicians and citizens spent years working out the “perfect” legalization law before legalizing. Kudos to Colorado, and to you for reminding us of that!”

    Yeah, except Colorado already did set the bar very high with regards to it original legalization Amendment. Ohio’s is a travesty to our American Value’s and if passed needs to be updated immediately. Do not wait for this Un-American crap law to spread. One or two years under this bullshit isn’t that bad, and is better than what the currently is. Pass It, And Then Fix It. Now. Not When Ever.

  15. #1 item for me today is Bernie Sanders’ possibility that he will come out in favor of cannabis legalization, even for adult recreational. Damn shame that Hillary didn’t embrace the social injustices like Bernie is. Hillary standing there with Black Lives Matter being standoffish when she should hire somebody like Bernie did. Maybe we’ll finally get some of the brothas (of all cannabis colors) out of prison, out of the new Jim Crow school to prison system.

    #2 is Santa Ana kopz shit outta luck

  16. Politicians make there bones by propelling this stupidity at the expense of our young. If you do not vote these jerkwater GOP DINOSAURS out of office this is what you get. My state of FLORIDA has one of these governors. VOTE!

  17. The executive branch should not have the power to legislate, which is what happens when a governor or president has line item veto power or can return legislation with changes they, and their cabinet, see fit.
    This is not separation of powers as was meant to occur.

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