This is different from marijuana legalization. Under decriminalization, possession of small amounts of pot no longer carries jail or prison time but can continue to carry a fine, and possession of larger amounts, repeat offenses, and sales or trafficking can still result in harsher sentences. Under legalization, penalties for marijuana possession are completely removed, and sales are typically allowed.
Illinois' new governor, J.B. Pritzker, delivered on a top campaign promise Tuesday by signing legislation that makes his state the 11th to legalize small amounts of marijuana for recreational use and the second to approve it through the Legislature rather than the ballot box. The bill, HB 1438, goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
Legalization in Illinois also means that nearly 800,000 people with criminal records for purchasing or possessing 30 grams of marijuana or less may have those records expunged, a provision minority lawmakers and interest groups demanded. It also gives cannabis-vendor preference to minority owners and promises 25% of tax revenue from marijuana sales to redevelop impoverished communities.
That's not the language used in the bill, but that's what the law does. Instead of leaving it up to an employer to determine if they want a drug free workplace, you have to treat marijuana users as equals to non-users.
New York City has similar legislation which will go into effect shortly after Nevada's, even though New York doesn't have legalized recreational marijuana.
There is logic to this change because unlike alcohol, which clears out of your system relatively rapidly; you can test positive for marijuana when you aren't remotely high. Blood and saliva tests can show if you are under the influence, but not the degree, as you can determine with alcohol. Urine tests will only show that there has been usage. The idea is why worry about what someone did Saturday night when they won't be to work until Monday?
The new law (which goes into effect on 1 January 2020) has exceptions for the following positions:
- Emergency medical technicians
- Employees who operate motor vehicles and who are subject to other state or federal laws,
- People who "in the determination of the employer could adversely affect the safety of others."
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration legalized its first-ever cannabis-derived drug, support for legalization hit an all-time high, and more states than ever have waved the green flag on weed from a medical and/or adult-use perspective, with 33 medical marijuana-legal states, 10 of which also allow adult consumption.
...Illinois Legislature overwhelmingly voted in favor of House Bill 1438, which is a measure that will legalize recreational marijuana throughout the Land of Lincoln by Jan. 1, 2020. The bill allows adults aged 21 and over to purchase and possess up to 30 grams of cannabis, with nonresidents allowed to possess up to half the amount of state residents.
The [next] two most logical choices would be New Jersey and New York, both of which have advanced legislation to legalize adult-use marijuana. Unfortunately, both states may have to wait until 2020 before they get their chance at redemption.
In March , New Jersey looked like a near-sure thing to legalize, with Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and state lawmakers seemingly coming to an agreement on excise tax rates after protracted debates. However, talks abruptly fell apart after Republican lawmakers in the state failed to support the legislation, and in-party squabbling among Democrats over social aspects of the bill removed the majority support needed for it to pass.