Illinois lawmakers are considering bills that would ban police from searching vehicles based solely on the odor of cannabis and allow some people on probation to use cannabis and alcohol, Capitol News Illinois reports. The bill prohibiting police from searching vehicles based on cannabis odor would still allow the practice for drivers under 21-years-old.
During floor debate on the vehicle search reform bill, State Sen. Rachel Ventura (D) said “People – especially people of color – are unnecessarily pulled over far too often.”
“The odor of cannabis alone shouldn’t be one of those reasons (for cars to be searched). Cannabis is legal in Illinois and it’s a pungent scent that can stick to clothes for extended periods of time.”— Ventura via Capitol News
Atticus Ballesteros, an attorney for American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, testified that the organization has “concerns that the amendment to the bill creates a workaround, or a loophole, that could have the effect of incentivizing police to target youth for unnecessary traffic stops or vehicle searches.”
The legislation passed the Senate last week 33-20.
The bill allowing some people on probation to consume cannabis and alcohol would not allow use of either if the person is sentenced to a crime that involved “the presence of an intoxicating compound in the person’s body” and courts could still impose restrictions on offenders under 21 or those participating in courts designed to help people with mental health or substance abuse problems.
That measure passed the Senate 34-21.
Both bills move next to the House.
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