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Illinois Is the Latest State to Decriminalize Small Amounts of Marijuana

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A man smokes marijuana.Photograph by — Sean Gallup Getty Images

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday signed a law decriminalizing possession of a small amount of marijuana, making the state the 21st to do so.

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Under the new law, possession of 10 grams of marijuana or less is now punishable by fines of $100 to $200, instead of jail time, the ChicagoTribune reports. Illinois law previously made possession of up to 10 grams of marijuana a class B misdemeanor that carried up to six months in jail and fines up to $1,500.

Rauner, a Republican, signed the law after using an amendatory veto on a measure last year that he said included too small a fine and allowed for the possession of too much of the drug.

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In addition to Illinois, 20 states and the District of Columbia have decriminalized small amounts of marijuana, and similar legislation is pending in other states, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.