Cannabis decriminalization bill fails

A measure passed by both chambers but amendatory vetoed by the Gov. Bruce Rauner to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis is dead after the House failed to take up a concurrence or override vote.

Democratic Representative Kelly Cassidy’s House Bill 218, which would change the penalties for cannabis possession among other reforms, was on the Calendar for possible concurrence of the Governor’s changes but Cassidy said she was advised the Governor’s changes are non compliant.

“It hit at some of the fundamental intent of the legislation so I was advised that it was likely non compliant and I would be better to seek a vehicle to find another way to pass the bill.”

Dan Linn, Executive Director of the Illinois Chapter of the National Organization for the Reformation of Marijuana Laws said he’s disappointed.

“This isn’t really that radical of an idea to just issue people tickets instead of arresting them for low level possession.”

Linn also said he suspects the failure of a concurrence vote was part of quote “political horse trading” in Springfield.

Cassidy said she’s working with stakeholders, advocates and the Governor’s office to find a balanced path and there’s still a chance to pass a decriminalization bill this General Assembly with a regular majority as long as the measure doesn’t have an immediate effective date.

Illinois News Network

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