Push for Legal Pot in Illinois
At the capitol, lawmakers are working on a few bills that would decriminalize small amounts of marijuana statewide. In the meantime, local governments are coming up with their own plans that would mean swapping an arrest for a ticket.
The city of Springfield already does it, and so does Urbana. Within the next two weeks, aldermen in Jacksonville could do it, too. At the end of March, aldermen there started working on an ordinance to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. They say they did it at the request of constituents, but as you can imagine, the ordinance is polarizing. We asked around town.
"I hear people talking about their grandchildren and so forth that are involved in drugs and it's a very sad situation. It breaks down the family, it causes emotional problems, it's just not good," Betty Schone told us in Jacksonville.
"We don't want to give people the impression that you can come here for the first time, and hide behind an ordinance that decriminalizes marijuana," Ward 2 Alderman Tony Williams said.
Williams goes on to explain how this ordinance is supposed to help people. It would decriminalize the possession of less than two and a half grams of marijuana for a first offense. He says council could vote when they meet again in two weeks.
On the state level, we're also seeing more support for this. In Cook County Monday, a commissioner said publicly he would like the state to legalize marijuana like Colorado already has.