Update marijuana possession laws

Within a year, investors will begin making millions off medical marijuana in Illinois.

Dispensaries and growing centers are under construction now. The Illinois Department of Public Health reports 14,000 patient requests and has issued 1,000 approval letters.

Legal marijuana for medical or recreational uses is sweeping the nation. In this environment, it seems cruel to continue pursuing serious misdemeanor and felony charges against casual users.

An Iowa Senate bill would make first-time possession of five grams, about $100 worth at Colorado dispensary rates, a simple misdemeanor, a ticketable offense punishable by a fine of up to $625 and no more than 30 days in jail.

Illinois lawmakers are considering a bill making possession of up to 30 grams a civil violation meriting a ticket with a fine of up to $125. The bill calls for no jail time and no permanent criminal record.

This pending legislation follows action in other...

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