Illinois Senate working to reassess pot possession standards - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Illinois Senate working to reassess pot possession standards

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Illinois -

WSIL -- Legislation in the Illinois Senate to reduce penalties for marijuana possession will likely move to the House next month.

The measure was vetoed by Gov. Bruce Rauner last year, but he is not opposed to the idea. 

The governor gave lawmakers some pointers about what he wants changed in order to sign the measure.

Chicago Democrat Sen. Heather Steans said they have made the changes and did not mind making them.

"The governor had made an amendatory veto and we incorporated all of the governor's amendatory veto changes into this bill. So this now reflects the bill as the governor had made changes to it," Steans said. "We're okay with it. We incorporated it in and we are really fine with it."

The changed legislation lowers the amount of cannabis. Instead of 15 grams or less, a person cannot posses more than 10 grams in order to make a civil offense. That means no jail time, only a fine. 

The amount of the fine has been raised, too.

Instead of a minimum fine of $55, the minimum is now $100, topping of at $200.  

Steans said this legislation also opens the door for on the spot saliva testing for drivers who are pulled over.

"We switched it from 15 nanograms [of THC] in blood down to five...and from 25 nanograms [of THC] in saliva down to 10. So we're making it a bit more stringent as well," she said.

Rauner spokeswoman Catherine Kelly told the Associated Press, "We are encouraged to see the General Assembly on a path to accept the governor's changes, and will continue monitoring the legislation as it moves forward."

The legislation is Senate Bill 2228.

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