Emerald Cup Competition
A participants rolls a joint before the best joint contest on December 11, 2010 in Laytonville, Mendocino County, Calif. Gilles Mingasson/;Getty Images

Illinois Is the Latest State to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana

Jul 30, 2016

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday signed a law decriminalizing possession of a small amount of marijuana, making the state the 21st to do so.

Under the new law, possession of 10 grams of marijuana or less is now punishable by fines of $100 to $200, instead of jail time, the Chicago Tribune reports. Illinois law previously made possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a class B misdemeanor that carried up to six months in jail and fines up to $1,500.

Rauner, a Republican, signed the law after using an amendatory veto on a measure last year that he said included too small a fine and allowed for the possession of too much of the drug.

Read more: A Brief History of Marijuana Law in America

In addition to Illinois, 20 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, and similar legislation is pending in other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

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