Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner wants to impose a marijuana bill that essentially decriminalizes it to some degree. The governor has been speaking with local law enforcement officials about their thoughts on punishing marijuana possession in small amounts to be course for a ticket and fines rather than an arrest.
Additional provisions, including marijuana intoxication levels, will also be added to the bill, according to reports from Northwest Herald. The bill was not signed last year as changes were requested. Senator Heather Steans’ office says that Governor Rauner’s office assures them that the bill will be signed once law enforcement has viewed the content.
The opinion of local law enforcement on the matter is important to the Governor. It is the law enforcement officials that will be impacted the most. Illinois would be the 17th state to move marijuana possession violations to civil offenses rather than criminal offenses.
The Governor has 60 days from June 16th to sign the bill. As many localities in Illinois have given jurisdiction to municipalities and local law enforcement to give civil offense tickets to those in possession of marijuana, some believe that it sends a message that marijuana isn’t harmful at all. The opposition does not realize that showing a change in the number of arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana costs taxpayers a lot of money. It also takes law enforcement officials away from patrolling streets in heavy drug activity areas and helping other residents with more pressing matters.
Citation records would be required bi-annually, unless a review is not required. The fines for possessing 10 grams of marijuana or less would be between $100 and $200 according to language in the new bill. A recommendation of a marijuana intoxication level of less than 5 nanograms THC within two hours of consumption should be in place.