Written by Morgan Baskin for Complex.
Nearly four years after Chicago decriminalized marijuana, its home state did the same. Illinois residents found in possession of 10 grams or less of pot will no longer face jail time for carrying the drug—just a fine of up to $200. It’s the twenty-first state to enact a marijuanadecriminalization policy.
The bill, passed Friday, goes into effect immediately and will also expunge offenders’ records biannually to prevent them from permanently possessing a criminal record.
“We applaud Gov. Rauner and the legislature for replacing Illinois’s needlessly draconian marijuana possession law with a much more sensible policy. This commonsense legislation will prevent countless citizens from having their lives turned upside down by a marijuana possession arrest,” Chris Lindsey, senior legislative counsel for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a statement released Friday.