Pot possession penalties reduced in Illinois

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation that makes marijuana possession in small amounts punishable only with fines and no jail time.

A state official with knowledge of the governor’s decision told The Associated Press the bill was signed Friday. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because the signing had not been announced yet.

The new law means possessing 10 grams of pot or less will be a civil offense punishable with a fine of up to $200. The governor’s signature makes Illinois the 17th state — and the third largest — to treat possession of marijuana in small amounts as a civil offense rather than a criminal one.

The legislation also sets a standard for what’s considered too high to drive.

By IVAN MORENO, Associated Press