config

Belt removes enhanced penalties for possessing cannabis at closed schools

belt 050819SPRINGFIELD – Legislation sponsored by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Centreville) will reform criminal justice laws by removing the enhanced penalties for possession of cannabis on school grounds that are no longer operational.

Belt’s legislation amends the Cannabis Control Act to provide that the enhanced penalties for cannabis delivery on school grounds do not apply when the violation occurs in or on the grounds of a building that was formerly designated as a school but is no longer operational.

“As a father of two and former school board member, I know more than anyone how important it is to provide a safe, drug-free environment conducive for optimal learning,” Belt said. “However, once a decision has been made to close and shutter a school, then it is no longer a school, and the enhancement penalty should not apply. The perpetrator of any cannabis offense on a former school site should be prosecuted by the existing laws of the land relative to possession of cannabis.”

The current enhanced penalties of delivery of cannabis on school grounds are as follows:

  • Less than 2.5 grams: Class A misdemeanor
  • 2.5-10 grams: Class 4 felony and a fine not to exceed $50,000
  • 10 -30 grams: Class 3 felony and a fine not to exceed $50,000
  • 30-500 grams: Class 2 felony and a fine not to exceed $100,000
  • 500-2,000 grams: Class 1 felony and a fine not to exceed $200,000

House Bill 160 was signed into law and will become effective immediately.  

Sen. Christopher Belt

Senator Christopher Belt

57th District

Years served: 2019–Present

Committee assignments: Criminal Law; Education (Vice-Chairperson); Energy and Public Utilities; Insurance; Labor; Licensed Activities; Subcommittee on Special Issues (IN); Opioid Crisis Abatement Spec. Com..

Associated Representatives:
LaToya Greenwood
Jay Hoffman