Illinois’s decrim law now in effect


Last update: October 24, 2016


Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 2228 in July, removing criminal penalties for those found in possession of 10 grams or less, and that new law is now in effect. Law enforcement may no longer arrest or jail a person in possession of that amount, and the infraction does not result in a criminal record. This change vastly improves the previous law by replacing criminal penalties with a fine of $125. The DUI law also improved, eliminating the possibility of a conviction based on metabolized forms of THC, unrelated to impairment.

The state’s medical cannabis program also saw improvement this year. Gov. Bruce Rauner signed SB 10 into law, extending the medical cannabis pilot program to at least July 2020. The state program will also add post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifying medical conditions and streamlines the physician’s role in the qualification process for patients. Other conditions are now being considered in a series of court cases, and it is not yet clear how they will be resolved.

Overall, it has been a positive year in Illinois. Criminal penalties for possession of 10 grams or less just disappeared, and the medical cannabis program improved this year and more conditions may soon be included.

Challenges continue in medical cannabis program


The passage of SB 10 is welcome news to the many patients and supporters who have worked hard to improve the state medical cannabis pilot program. High costs for providers and cultivators, early delays in the program roll-out, and restrictive provisions that suppress patient and doctor participation have made for a difficult time. In addition to extending the program and including PTSD, SB 10 also makes it easier for patients to get support from doctors. While the state program still has its challenges, the bill was a marked improvement.

For more information on how to register as a patient, or to see announcements from state program officials, follow this link.

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