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Today The Illinois House Passed Legislation That Would Decriminalize Possession Of Small Amounts Of Marijuana

Illinois is once again poised to join the ranks of the few progressive states committed to ending the criminalization of race and the ridiculous War on Drugs. HB 218 would change the law in Illinois so that anyone caught with small quantities of marijuana would receive a ticket instead of being subject to arrest and jail time. While not perfect, this is still an important piece of legislation that can help reduce the over-criminalization of Black communities. Despite using marijuana at roughly the same rate as Whites, Black people make up the overwhelming majority of the people arrested and convicted for marijuana related offenses.

The work is far from over. The bill still needs to pass the Senate and be signed into law by our conservative Governor, who has not taken a position on it so far. Our organization, along with our strategic partners at BYP 100 and SOUL have been working to decriminalize marijuana for a while, and we're going to continue to put pressure on our elected officials until they pass this bill. Stay tuned for more to come and how you can get involved. 

Workers Center for Racial Justice

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