Even though cannabis will be fully legalized for adult use all across the state of Illinois after January 1st, individuals will still get punished by law for consuming the drug in certain public places where cannabis consumption is strictly forbidden. Furthermore, individuals may still be fined for transporting the drug in buses or other vehicles.

Fortunately, the current mayor of Chicago, Lori Lightfoot, is planning to put her foot down and bring an end to this practice once and for all. 

She further notes that Chicago’s rigid laws, concerning cannabis enforcement, have had an unfair impact on the black and brown communities in the city. Lightfoot also adds that the upcoming legalization of recreational cannabis provides an opportunity to successfully reform the outdated policies and alter the wrong-doings of the past.

The law right now states that individuals who are first-time offenders need to pay a fine ranging between $250–500, and $500 in a case of future offenses within a month of the first offense. Moreover, the zero-tolerance law in Chicago states that the police may freely seize vehicles if cannabis is found inside.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot has come up with a proposal according to which first-time offenders will need to pay a $50 fine, and an additional $100 following up the first offense within 30 days. Additionally, individuals will not get their vehicles taken away if cannabis is indeed found inside. According to Paul Stewart, the mayor’s policy adviser, the goal of the new proposal is to offer a less severe form of punishment.

Chicago will be compelled to train police officers on how to deal with the recent law changes before recreational cannabis becomes legal in the state of Illinois. It is believed that cannabis will be treated on the same level as alcoholic beverages by officers. 

The future of the law has been one of the main topics at meetings, according to Austin Weekly News; for example, the most recent community meeting in Austin attracted around 100 people.  

Whatever the case, it’s high time the residents of Illinois got the recreation they deserve.