Chicago Decriminalizes Marijuana Possession
The Chicago City Council today voted overwhelmingly 43-3 in favor of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s plan to decriminalize possession of marijuana. Starting August 4, 2012, most people caught with small amounts of marijuana (less than 15 grams) will be slapped with tickets instead of being arrested and taken to jail.
“The calls I get at 2 o’clock in the morning are not about marijuana possession. They’re about someone who’s been shot in my ward. I want those calls to cease. The way we do that is to make sure our police are fighting violent crime and free up their time to deal with those issues,” said Ald. Will Burns (4th).
Chicago Police officers will now have the option to issue tickets ranging from $250 to $500 to anyone caught in Chicago with 15 grams of marijuana or less. The maximum $500 fine would be assessed against anyone slapped with a second citation within a three-day period. This is in lieu the current punishment: arrest and a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine. (via Chicago Sun-Times)