An Illinois lawmaker is considering a bill that would ban police from searching vehicles based solely on the smell of cannabis. The bill, Senate Bill 125, was assigned to two House legislative committees after it was approved by the Illinois Senate in a 33-20 vote late last month.
Democratic Senator Rachel Ventura, a major supporter of the law, said SB 125 would prevent law enforcement from searching people who use cannabis legally simply because police detect the smell of marijuana. Said it helps to avoid.
“People, especially people of color, are being pulled on unnecessarily often.” ventura said About the law of the statement. “The smell of cannabis shouldn’t be one of the reasons (because their cars will be searched). there is potential.”
If it passes the House and is signed into law by Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker, Senate Bill 125 Amending Illinois Vehicle Regulations to state, “The smell of burnt or raw cannabis in a motor vehicle is not, by itself, a presumed cause for search of the motor vehicle, the driver of the vehicle, or the passengers within the vehicle.” I’m here. Operated by individuals over the age of 21.
At a press conference on April 11, Democratic Rep. Jehan Gordon Booth said Senate Bill 125 is needed to fully implement the recreational marijuana legalization bill in Illinois. The bill was passed by state legislators and signed by Pritzker in 2019. and older are permitted to own up to 30 grams (just over an ounce) of cannabis and up to 5 mature cannabis plants. Non-residents of Illinois over the age of 21 are allowed up to 15 grams.
“This was very important as we were trying to legalize this product that had clearly demonized so many communities,” said Jehan Gordon-Booth.
Weeds inside the car must be inaccessible
Senate Bill 125 also requires that cannabis owned by drivers or passengers of motor vehicles traveling on state roads be placed in sealed or resealable, child-safe containers and stored in inaccessible and safe locations. I request you to keep it.
An amendment to the original bill limits protection from marijuana smell-based vehicle searches to vehicles operated by adults 21 and older. When changes were made to allow searches for vehicles driven by young drivers, the Illinois chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) withdrew its support for the bill and instead adopted a neutral stance on the bill. bottom.
Atticus Ballesteros, an attorney at the ACLU in Illinois, said: “We are concerned that this bill amendment will create workarounds or loopholes that will have the effect of directing police to unnecessary traffic stops and vehicle searches on young people. I am.”said to rockford register star.
Ballesteros added that the ACLU in Illinois originally supported the bill. This is because there are many reasons why a vehicle can smell like cannabis.
“And for us, that’s true regardless of age.” Ballesteros said.
Opposition by Law Enforcement
Law enforcement officials, including Jim Kaychuk, executive director of the Illinois Sheriffs Association, opposed Senate Bill 215, urging Congressmen to reject measures to ban vehicle searches based solely on the smell of weed. I’m looking for
“You can’t carry unlimited marijuana on a vehicle.” Kaichuk said center square. “It’s only legal up to a certain amount. If the burnt smell of cannabis could be emanating from the vehicle, it would curb the ability to intervene even if the driver might actually be disabled. do you intend to?”
Kaychuk added he was concerned that law enforcement officials could have a harder time dealing with the illegal market for cannabis and other drugs if the bill were passed.
“I think this bill could impact the illegal market in that it would allow people to carry more drugs than they should,” he said. “Additionally, they may traffic marijuana cannabis to hide other drugs that may be illegally in the vehicle.”
Kaicuk added that he sees the bill as a solution to a non-existent problem.
“We’re not just stopping people because they smell cannabis,” he added. “It’s not a reason to stop the car. What got us there has to be some other action or activity that occurred regarding a violation of the vehicle code.”
Senate Bill 125 passed the Illinois Senate on March 30 and is currently pending in the state House of Representatives and has been assigned to the Rules and Executive Committees. A legislative hearing is scheduled for April 19 at the State Capitol in Springfield by the Executive Committee.