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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

Illinois Legislator Aims To Decriminalize Marijuana


An Illinois lawmaker wants to ticket people possessing marijuana, instead of charging them with a misdemeanor that could mean jail time. 

Representative Kelly Cassidy proposes a $100 fine for anyone possessing less than 30 grams of the drug.

"This will allow for certainty and uniformity in the state. It will also allow us to save significant money at the state and the local level, and put our criminal justice resources to much better use."

Cassidy, a Chicago Democrat, says that would allow for uniform enforcement of the law. 

"Ultimately, whether or not you're arrested for low-level marijuana possession in Illinois depends greatly on where you live and what you look like, and it's not a great use of our criminal justice system."

Cassidy says her proposal received support from Republicans, even though all four GOP legislators on the committee that debated the measure voted against it. The bill passed, and now goes to the House.

Lisa Ryan is a graduate student in the public affairs reporting program at the University of Illinois at Springfield. She previously worked at Indiana Public Radio and the college radio station founded by David Letterman. She is a 2014 broadcast journalism and political science graduate of Ball State University.