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Illinois: Bill Introduced To Remove Criminal Penalties For Marijuana Possession

IllinoisStateOutlineFilledWithCannabis

Rep. Kelly Cassidy on Thursday announced that she is introducing new legislation for 2016 that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana in Illinois.

HB 4357 would make possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a civil violation punishable by a fine. Adults would no longer face time in jail, and the civil offense would be automatically expunged in order to prevent a permanent criminal record.

The proposal largely mirrors legislation previously introduced by Rep. Cassidy that was approved in the Senate (37-19) on May 21 and in the House (62-53) on April 23, as well the amendments proposed by Gov. Bruce Rauner when he vetoed the bill and returned it to the legislature on August 14.

“This is a reasonable proposal that is long overdue,” Rep. Cassidy said. “It needs to happen, and I am hopeful that we can make it happen quickly since it’s already such familiar territory for legislators and the governor.”

Members of the Illinois faith community joined Rep. Cassidy at the news conference to voice support for the bill. More than 50 clergy from around the state have signed a Religious Declaration of Clergy for a New Drug Policy, which includes support for civil rather than criminal sanctions for marijuana possession.

Illinois: New Bill Announced To Remove Criminal Penalties For Marijuana

IllinoisMarijuana[KTRS]

Rep. Kelly Cassidy will hold a Thursday news conference to announce that she will introduce new legislation for 2016 that would replace criminal penalties with a civil fine for possession of a personal amount of marijuana in Illinois.

The news conference is scheduled for 11 a.m. CT in the Blue Room of the James R. Thompson Center. Rep. Cassidy will be joined by Rev. Alexander Sharp of Clergy for a New Drug Policy and other members of the Illinois faith community who believe the state’s current criminal penalties for marijuana possession are causing harm to their communities.

The new proposal will include provisions Gov. Bruce Rauner and a majority of the members of the General Assembly agreed to earlier this year. It will largely mirror legislation previously introduced by Rep. Cassidy that was approved in the Senate (37-19) on May 21 and in the House (62-53) on April 23, as well the amendments proposed by the governor when he vetoed the bill and returned it to the legislature on August 14.

WHAT: News conference to announce the introduction of new legislation to remove criminal penalties for simple marijuana possession and replace them a civil fine

WHERE: James R. Thompson Center, Blue Room, 100 W. Randolph St., Chicago

WHEN: Thursday, December 10, 11 a.m. CT

WHO: Rep. Kelly Cassidy
Rev. Alexander Sharp, Clergy for a New Drug Policy
Members of the Illinois faith community

Graphic: KTRS

Pennsylvania: Religious Leaders Announce Support For Medical Marijuana

PennsylvaniaCallForCompassionStandUpForPatients[ClergyForCompassion]

A group of Pennsylvania religious leaders will announce their support for medical marijuana legislation Wednesday at a news conference at 11 a.m. ET on the Lt. Governor’s Balcony in the Pennsylvania State Capitol. They will then visit with lawmakers to convey their support in person.

A diverse group of more than 50 clergy members in Pennsylvania have signed a statement urging state lawmakers to adopt a comprehensive medical marijuana law this year. A list of signers will be posted Wednesday at http://www.ClergyForCompassion.com.

“We cannot remain silent while people in pain and anguish are deprived of a viable, safe, and responsible remedy,” the statement reads. “While we may practice different faiths and come from different communities, we share the same commitment to improving the broader community through the practice of humanity, healing, mercy, and compassion. That is why, as leaders within our respective communities of faith, we are joining together to encourage the Pennsylvania General Assembly to adopt sensible, comprehensive medical cannabis legislation.”

Speakers at the news conference will include Pastor Shawn Berkebile of Abbotstown, Rev. Theodore Cockley of Williamsport, Rabbi George Stern of Philadelphia, and Pastor Bonnie Whittier of Codorus. They will be joined by Rev. Alexander Sharp of Clergy for a New Drug Policy, which is rallying clergy nationwide in support of sensible medical marijuana legislation.

Illinois: Senate Approves Bill To Remove Criminal Penalties For Marijuana Possession

IllinoisMarijuana[KTRS]

Measure Will Be Sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner for His Signature

HB 218 replaces the threat of jail time and a criminal record with a civil penalty — a $125 fine, similar to a traffic ticket — for possession of a small amount of marijuana

The Illinois Senate on Thursday approved a bill 37-19 to remove criminal penalties for possession of a small amount of marijuana. The measure, which was approved by the House of Representatives in April, will now be sent to Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner for his signature.

HB 218, introduced in the Senate by Sen. Michael Noland (D-Elgin) and in the House by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), makes possession of up to 15 grams of marijuana a civil law violation punishable by a $125 fine. Individuals will no longer face time in jail, and the civil offense will be automatically expunged in order to prevent a permanent criminal record.

“Serious criminal penalties should be reserved for individuals who commit serious crimes,” Rep. Cassidy said. “The possibility of jail time should not even be on the table when it comes to simple marijuana possession. Criminalizing people for marijuana possession is not a good use of our state’s limited law enforcement resources.”

Illinois: Marijuana Decrim Bill Advocates To Release Poll Showing Strong Support

ILMedicalCannabis(HT)

Group Will Also Release New Report Detailing Collateral Consequences of Being Arrested for Marijuana in Illinois

Central Illinois man who was denied public housing assistance 13 years after being arrested for possessing 2.5 grams of marijuana will join Illinois religious leader and others at a news conference Thursday at 11 a.m. CT in the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago

Supporters of a bill that would remove criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana in Illinois will on Thursday release the results of a statewide poll that show strong support for such legislation. The Illinois House Restorative Justice Committee approved the bill last week, and supporters are now calling on members of the House to approve the proposal.

A new report, “Marked for Life: Collateral Sanctions in Illinois,” which details the impact of being arrested for a marijuana-related offense in Illinois, will also be released. Collateral consequences of marijuana arrests in Illinois will also be the subject of a panel discussion at the Fourth Annual Forum on Drug Policy, which will be held Friday at Roosevelt University. For details, visit http://bit.ly/1jlWPe8.

Illinois: Senate Committee To Hold Hearing Wednesday On Medical Marijuana Bill

Photo - Illinois: Medical Marijuana Moves Forward In LegislatureReligious leader, former narcotics officer, and physician scheduled to testify in support of House-approved measure that would allow people with serious illnesses to access and use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it

By Steve Elliott
Hemp News

The Illinois Senate Executive Committee will hold a hearing Wednesday at 3 p.m. on a bill that would allow residents with serious illnesses, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and HIV/AIDS, to access and use medical marijuana if their physicians recommend it. If approved, the measure will be considered by the full Senate. It received approval from the full House of Representatives on April 17.

Rev. Alexander Sharp, executive director emeritus of Protestants for the Common Good; former narcotics police officer Karen Stone of Glenarm; Dr. David Walters of Mt. Vernon; and a Somonauk-based military veteran with advanced multiple sclerosis are scheduled to testify in support of House Bill 1, which is sponsored in the Senate by former state’s attorney Sen. William Haine (D-Alton).

The measure has been endorsed by the Illinois Nurses Association and the Illinois State Bar Association, and since last month, more than 265 doctors from across the state have signed on to a statement in support of safe access to medical marijuana for patients with serious illnesses.

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