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Interview: Illinois Is 21st State To Decriminalize Some Pot


Illinois is already well into its medical marijuana pilot program, and the list of conditions it can prescribed for is being debated, as some wish to add ailments like IBS and migraines. Meanwhile, the governor recently signed a measure that decriminalizesthe possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana or less.

It's similar to measure many cities in the state, like Springfield, had already passed. It means that those found with a small amount of the drug would be given a citation, much like a traffic ticket, without incarceration. The fines would be up to $200 under the law, though municipalities could make some changes.

The Marijuana Policy Project has been pushing measures like this one around the country; here are the goals listed on its website

  1. Increase public support for non-punitive, non-coercive marijuana policies.
  2. Identify and activate supporters of non-punitive, non-coercive marijuana policies.
  3. Change state laws to reduce or eliminate penalties for the medical and non-medical use of marijuana.
  4. Gain influence in Congress.

We caught up with Chris Lindsey who works for the group and who was instrumental in lobbying for the recent decriminalization legislation in the state to learn more:


Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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