The state of Illinois took a giant stride this week by unanimously approving two bills that could potentially decriminalize not just possession of marijuana, but also distribution and cultivation.
The first bill, House Bill 5708, would make it so that any patron, medical patient or not, arrested with under 30 grams of marijuana would receive at most a $100 ticket. Currently, this offense is considered a misdemeanor punishable by arrest.
The second bill, House Bill 4299, covers the same ground as the aforementioned bill; however, it also includes both the cultivation and distribution of marijuana. Under this proposed bill, an individual could distribute and/or manufacture up to 10 grams of marijuana and only run the risk of a $100 ticket. Illinois residents could also grow up to 5 plants if this bill were to pass with the same fine. It would also change felony charges of growing between 5-20 plants to a misdemeanor as well as the possession of up to 500 grams of marijuana.
Both of these proposals will now proceed to a house vote.