Marijuana fine bill passes Senate committee

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — An Illinois Senate committee has approved legislation that would treat possession of small amounts of marijuana like a speeding ticket rather than a crime.
    
The measure made it through the Illinois House last week. It passed the Senate criminal law committee Wednesday with a 9-3 vote and now heads to the Senate floor.
    
Possessing 15 grams or less of marijuana is subject to a minimum fine of $55 and a maximum of $125 under the bill. Possession currently is treated as a misdemeanor unless a local municipality has an ordinance that allows police to issue a ticket instead.
    
Rep. Kelly Cassidy is the sponsor in the House. The Chicago Democrat says the measure would help prevent discrimination of enforcement based on race. The bill is HB218.