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Photo: TheBongPlace

​A new bill introduced in the Illinois House of Representatives would lower the penalty for an ounce or less of marijuana to a petty offense similar to a traffic violation.

House Bill 100, introduced January 12, would change the consequences of possession of under 28.35 grams of cannabis from a Class A Misdemeanor — punishable by up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine — down to a petty offense rather than a criminal offense, reports Brendan Denison at the Daily Illini.
If passed, the bill would set a $500 fine for first-time marijuana possession offenders, $750 for second-time offenders, and a $1,000 fine for each offense thereafter.
State Rep. LaShawn Ford, the Democrat who introduced the bill, said he expects it to free up the court systems and reduce the number of people who receive criminal background histories for possessing small amounts of cannabis.

An 18-year-old student is arrested for marijuana. Scenes like this could become a part of the past in Rhode Island.

​A bill to decriminalize the possession of less than an ounce of marijuana was introduced in the Rhode Island House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Under the legislation, up to an ounce of pot would be subject only to a $150 civil penalty under state law.
H 7317, a bipartisan bill, is co-sponsored by 35 House members and has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee. The Rhode Island State Senate is likely to introduce their version of the bill later this week.
If the bill becomes law, Rhode Island would join their neighboring state, Massachusetts, and become the 14th state to decriminalize marijuana. In 2008, Massachusetts voters passed a similar decrim law overwhelmingly, with 65 percent of the vote.