How does your state measure up when it comes to establishing policies that reduce the harms of both drug use and drug prohibition?

Harm Reduction

Does the state permit access to clean syringes for people who inject drugs?

  • YES

Does the state have naloxone training & distribution programs available to the public at syringe exchange programs or other facilities?

  • YES

Does the state have a 911 Good Samaritan law?

  • YES

Does the state have legal methadone access?

  • YES


Are marijuana possession and use legal for medical purposes?

  • YES

What are the criminal penalties for marijuana possession?

Criminal Justice

How many people are arrested for a drug offense each year? 

  • 38,684

What are the racial disparities in arrest rates?

  • Total population (2011): 78.1% white, 15.4% black, 6.5% other.
    Drug arrests (2011): 22.1% white, 77.4% black.

What happens to people’s voting rights when they become part of the criminal justice system?

  • A person convicted of a felony, or otherwise under sentence in a correctional institution or jail, shall lose the right to vote, which right shall be restored not later than upon completion of his sentence.

Illinois House Overrides Governor's Veto of the Heroin Crisis Bill in a Step toward Rebuilding Illinois' Failed System

Springfield, IL- In a vote of 105-5, the Illinois House of Representatives voted to override Governor Rauner’s amendatory veto of HB1, the Heroin Crisis Bill, which was filed in response to the growing problem of opioid overdose and addiction in Illinois. The bill had previously passed unanimously in the Illinois House and nearly unanimously in the Illinois Senate.


Kathie Kane Willis: (312) 341-4336
Tommy McDonald: (510) 338-8827

IL State 911 Good Samaritan Overdose Law (§ SB1701 – 2011)

February 6, 2012

This is the text of Illinois' Good Samaritan law.

Law Atlas map of states with Good Samaritan laws

This in an online interactive resource for visualizing the states with Good Samaritan laws.

Chicago City Council Passes Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance: Tickets Instead of Arrest for Low-Level Possession

DPA Statement: Step in Right Direction, But Devil is in the Details

The Chicago City Council passed – by a vote of 43 to 3 -- an ordinance today that will decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. People who are caught with under half an ounce of marijuana will now face fines between 250 and 500 dollars instead of being arrested.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy came out in support of the ordinance earlier this month and have talked about the need to free up police resources to fight more serious crime.

Tony Newman 646-335-5384 or Ethan Nadelmann 646-335-2240

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