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.

The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) will release the poll and the report at a news conference at 11 a.m. CT in the Blue Room of the James R. Thompson Center in Chicago. MPP members will be joined by other supporters of the bill, including Rev. Alexander E. Sharp, executive director of the Chicago-based Community Renewal Society; Kathie Kane-Willis, director of the Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy at Roosevelt University; and Whitney Sherrinsky, a central Illinois man who was denied public housing assistance 13 years after being arrested for possessing 2.5 grams of marijuana at the age of 16.

HB 5708, introduced by Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago), would eliminate criminal penalties and the possibility of a criminal record for possession of up to 30 grams of marijuana. It would establish a new class of offense called a “regulatory offense,” which would prohibit arrest or jail time, limit fines to no more than $100, and require the ticket to be removed from a person’s record after the fine is paid, which would prevent individuals from losing employment and housing opportunities.

WHAT: News conference to release statewide poll showing strong support for legislation that removes criminal penalties for marijuana possession in Illinois; release of a new report on the collateral consequences of being arrested for a marijuana-related offense in Illinois

WHEN: Thursday, April 3, 11 a.m. CT

WHERE: Blue Room of the James R. Thompson Center, 100 W. Randolph Street, Chicago

WHO: Rev. Alexander E. Sharp, executive director, Community Renewal Society
Kathie Kane-Willis, director, Illinois Consortium on Drug Policy at Roosevelt University
Chris Lindsey, legislative analyst, Marijuana Policy Project
Whitney Sherrinsky, Chicago man who was denied public housing assistance 13 years after being arrested for possessing 2.5 grams of marijuana at the age of 16

Graphic: Marijuana.com