Decision to decriminalize pot in Illinois in Rauner’s hands

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A bill decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana is “low-hanging fruit” for Gov. Bruce Rauner, according to some legislators.

The Republican governor has not indicated whether he’ll sign the bill passed by the Legislature last month.
Advocates say signing the measure would send a signal that the governor is serious about his stated goal of reducing the prison population. A veto might appeal to Republicans voters he needs to support his pro-business legislative agenda.

One pollster says signing the measure wouldn’t hurt Rauner’s core supporters.

The legislation would fine those caught with up to 15 grams between $55 and $125, and records of the ticket would be expunged after six months.

About 100 communities in Illinois, including Chicago, give police latitude to issue tickets instead of arresting those with small amounts.