Illinois Decriminalizes Marijuana

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner

Given a second chance to approve the state legislatures' decrim bill, this time Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner agreed to more restrictive language and signed the bill on July 29.

In 2015, the legislature passed a decrim bill, but Rauner vetoed it and sent it back to the House, who let the bill die. On July 26, the Senate passed SB 2228 (the Cannabis Control Act) by a 40-14 vote and sent it to the governor for his signature.

Sponsored by Chicago Sen. Heather Steans, SB 2228 deciminalizes the possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis. Those caught with that amount will receive a ticket and may be charged from $100-$200 in fines. The prior penalty for possession of up to 10 grams was a Class B misdemeanor. Those found guilty could receive a six-month jail sentence.

Last May, the legislature passed a bill that would have reduced the penalty for possessing 15 grams or less of marijuana to a ticket and a $125 fine, if found guilty. On Aug. 14, Gov. Rauner put the kabosh on the bill and called for the following changes: reduce the allowable amount to 10 grams and increase the max fine to $200.

The last state to decriminalize marijuana was Delaware. According to the MPP, Illinois is the 21st state to decriminalize marijuana. Check out the other decrim states here.

Illinois legalized medical marijuana in 2013.

Steve Bloom

Steve Bloom

Publisher of, former editor of High Times and Freedom Leaf and co-author of Pot Culture and Reefer Movie Madness.