Lawmakers pass drug possession bill out of House

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SPRINGFIELD, Unwell. (WCIA) — Illinois is one step nearer to creating the possession of sure quantities of arduous medicine a misdemeanor as an alternative of a felony.

A invoice from state consultant Carol Ammons would make possession of as much as three grams of heroin and fentanyl and 5 grams of cocaine a misdemeanor cost as an alternative of a felony. The Illinois ACLU says the present means the state offers with drug possession doesn’t assist in any respect.

“What we’re doing is definitely making issues worse, it’s not serving to individuals get higher,” Ben Ruddell with the ACLU mentioned. “And that’s why this invoice known as decreasing boundaries to restoration, as a result of that’s what the present system is. It’s a barrier.”

Advocates say the invoice eliminates a roadblock to restoration for addicts, however police need to take one other have a look at the quantities which are allowed as a result of they’re frightened it should make life simpler for drug sellers.

“These drug sellers out right here on the road will make the most of this invoice, and they’re going to begin recruiting youthful children to ship to individuals,” Taylorville Police Chief Dwayne Wheeler mentioned.

Wheeler’s police division focuses on serving to drug addicts get to remedy earlier than they may get arrested. He says the state legislation does a superb job of facilitating that as properly, however he has a tough time classifying 3-5 grams as an quantity for private use.

“I’ve been working narcotics for years. Three grams shouldn’t be private use. That ought to be possibly 1 gram or under,” Wheeler mentioned.

The invoice will now go to the Senate for a vote. If handed, minor drug possession prices will also be retroactively expunged.

(This story was initially revealed on April 22, 2021)

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