Rep. Cassidy renews effort to pass decrim in Illinois


Last update: December 10, 2015


On December 10, 2015, Rep. Kelly Cassidy introduced a bill to remove criminal penalties for the possession of a small amount of marijuana and replace them with a fine. This bill — HB 4357 — can be considered in 2016 and picks up where her 2015 bill left off. Although the 2015 bill cleared both chambers and Gov. Bruce Rauner supported the concept, time ran out before a bill could be enacted that incorporated his requested revisions.

Rep. Cassidy and MPP hope the legislature will pass the 2016 bill without delay when the legislature meets in January. Please click here to ask your legislators to support the speedy passage of HB 4357.

If you were arrested for possessing a small amount of marijuana and suffered consequences, or if you are a supportive law enforcement official, clergy member, or medical professional, please let us know at [email protected]. Please include your address or nine-digit zip code so we can find out who your lawmakers are.


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Rev. Myron McCoy, senior minister at the First United Methodist Church at the Chicago Temple, addresses reporters during the HB 4357 press event on behalf of Rep. Kelly’s bill. Fourteen ministers were present to show support and answer questions.

Good news for medical cannabis patients — for a change!


In fall 2015, dispensaries began serving patients in Illinois, with over 1,700 patients served during the first month! A report issued by the Illinois Department of Public Health on the program so far is available here and a complete list of approved dispensaries and their locations is available here. The total number of patients now stands at approximately 3,300, with more expected to join the registry now that businesses are able to serve them.

The news over dispensary openings is welcome relief to patients who faced a challenging year. In addition to delays in licensing businesses and approving their operation, the Illinois Department of Public Health refused to adopt numerous new conditions, despite approval by the Medical Cannabis Advisory Board. An effort to extend the program beyond 2017 fell short in its initial attempt, but a similar effort is expected during the legislative session in 2016.

Unsurprisingly, the number of patients who have registered for the program has initially been low, but it is expected to increase now that the program is operational. For more information on the state program, including applications, follow this link.

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Pending Legislation