IL: Galesburg Developing Cannabis Possession Ordinance

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Galesburg – A new state law decriminalizing possession of cannabis has had little impact on city law enforcement.

Galesburg Police Captain Rodney Riggs said eight people have received citation tickets for that offense since July 1.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner signed legislation making possession of marijuana up to 10 grams the equivalent to a traffic ticket on July 29.

City leaders have begun working on a new ordinance for a city citation to address the law change.

Before Rauner’s signature, possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis had been a Class B misdemeanor that carried a sentence, if convicted, of six months in county jail and as much as a $1,500 fine.

“There’s no form we’re filling out because the city ordinance hasn’t changed” yet, Riggs said.

He said officers learned of the new law during shift change meetings.

“We knew it was going to come at some point,” Riggs said.

A person stopped by Galesburg Police with possession of up to 10 grams of cannabis currently receives a notice to appear on a $120 fine. Much like a traffic ticket, those who have received the ticket can pay the fine prior to a court appearance.

Galesburg City Attorney Bradley Nolden said city staff are developing what the city ordinance violation would encompass, and that could go to a first reading before the City Council in September.

The city decriminalized possession of cannabis less than 2.5 grams in January 2015, which is a $300 ticket.

Nolden said state statue sets city ordinance violation fine amounts between $0 and up to $1,000. Those types of tickets can either be written through the Knox County Circuit Court, which has city ordinance violation cases on Thursdays, or as an administrative ticket to be processed by the city administrative court, which has hearings on the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker
Full Article: Galesburg Developing Cannabis Possession Ordinance
Author: Robert Connelly
Contact: 309-343-7181 ext. 282
Photo Credit: AP
Website: The Register-Mail