The support is diverse, if not overwhelming, for a bill to decriminalize marijuana, making possession of a small amount – about a half-ounce – a civil offense.  The bill, H.B. 218, passed the House today (Thurdday), 62-53. “It is time,” said the sponsor, State Rep. Kelly Cassidy (D-Chicago). “This is where we are. It is time to realign our criminal justice system. It is time to be smarter on crime. This bill does that.”
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Cassidy had a policeman in her corner – State Rep. John Cabello (R-Machesney Park) is on leave as a detective with the Rockford police force – but also had other unlikely allies – “oddballs,” as she described the eclectic mix – in support. That group would include the American Civil Liberties Union and the right-leaning Illinois Policy Institute.  State Rep. Ron Sandack (R-Downers Grove) said it’s not just smart on crime, but “let me introduce another term: right on crime. Reducing prison populations is a goal of this governor.”