Springfield, IL: Republican Governor Bruce Rauner signed legislation on Friday 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.”
According to the ACLU, Illinois police arrest some 50,000 individuals annually for marijuana possession offenses. It ranks fifth in the nation in per capita marijuana possession arrests.
Illinois is the third largest state to decriminalize minor marijuana possession offenses.