Legislation Decriminalizing Small Amounts Of Marijuana Passes Illinois Senate

Apr 19, 2016

A measure to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana passed the Illinois Senate Tuesday.

Instead of being arrested, people caught with 10 grams or less of cannabis would pay a maximum 

Credit BrettLevinPhotography / Flickr

 fine of $200 dollars. The proposal would also set a standard for impaired driving.

State Senator Heather Steans, D-Chicago, is one of the sponsors of the legislation.

"Right now many municipalities across Illinois already do it this way, through a civil offense," she said. "This is now just saying nowhere can somebody be charged criminally for possession of small amounts of marijuana."

Critics say the measure treats marijuana less seriously than alcohol and could lead to problems with addiction. The legislation now heads to the House.