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Illinois Considering Decriminalizing Certain Amounts of Marijuana Possession

May 25th, 2015 at 6:20 am

Illinois defense attorney, Illinois criminal lawyer, drug crimes, Illinios drug laws,Drug possession is one of the most prosecuted crimes in the American criminal justice system. Far too many people spend serious time in our jails and prisons for simply possessing a personal use quantity of a controlled substance. In fact, many of the people who are prosecuted possessed only marijuana. Fortunately, some states are taking steps to lessen or eliminate the penalties for marijuana possession. While Illinois has not yet taken steps to legalize marijuana possession, it is taking steps to decriminalize the substance.

Senate Committee Passed Important Marijuana Bill

The State Journal-Register reports that a state senate committee has passed a bill that would treat marijuana possession like a speeding ticket. The bill is called House Bill 218. If the current version of this bill were to become law it would make possession of 15 grams or less of marijuana punishable by a fine of up to $125. People who received one of these tickets would be eligible to have their records expunged after six months. To put this into perspective, 15 grams is roughly a half-ounce of marijuana, or enough to make between 20 and 30 joints. This bill already passed in the House by a vote of 62-53. The next step is for the full Senate to vote on the bill. If it passes there, it would go to the governor. Governor Bruce Rauner has not made any public statements about his position on the law, but he has made public statements supporting the idea of reducing our state’s incarcerated population. Supporting this bill would certainly accomplish that goal.

Bill Would Also Change DUI Standards

House Bill 218 would also change the standards for driving under the influence of marijuana charges. Currently Illinois law is out of touch with science. Under the current law, finding any amount of any marijuana metabolite in a person’s urine is enough for a DUI conviction. This is horribly unscientific because these metabolites can show up for weeks after a person uses marijuana while marijuana only affects a person for a few hours. If the new law were to pass, the standards for a DUI would require certain amounts of delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol in either the blood or another bodily substance. Facts do not exist to support that these standards would actually prove intoxication from a scientific perspective, but they are at least less oppressive than the standards under the current law.

Call the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley

If you have been charged with possession of marijuana or any other drug you will need the help of an experienced Rolling Meadows criminal defense attorney. Don’t hesitate to call the Law Office of Christopher M. Cosley. We regularly handle drug cases so we understand both the legal and personal issues involved in these cases. We will steer you in the right direction given your personal circumstances. Call us today at (847)394-3200.

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