Chicago to Decriminalize Marijuana
Members of Chicago’s municipal council are proposing to decriminalize possessing up to 10 grams of Marijuana in the Windy City. Alderman Daniel Solis is planning on bringing up this ordinance at next week’s City Council meeting. One positive point about the plan is that it will raise revenue for Chicago and allow police to spend more time worrying about more dangerous criminals.
Rather than facing a misdemeanor charge, up to six months in jail and a $1500 fine, those caught with less than 10 grams of the stuff will only be hit with a $200 dollar ticket and up to 10 hours of community service. Currently, Chicago police are making up to 23,000 arrests every year for marijuana possession. Council member, Gary McCarthy stated at a budget hearing on Thursday that he was, “OK with making it a very simple summary arrest with a ticket, something along those lines.”
“One positive point about the plan is that it will raise revenue for Chicago and allow police to spend more time worrying about more dangerous criminals”
Alderman Walter Burnett brings up another point that the people arrested for marijuana possession are disproportionately minorities. His point is that it’s unfair for those minorities to end up with arrests on their criminal records especially when the vast majority of the cases are eventually dismissed. He states, “I had the opportunity to go to Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and I think I got contact high being at all those events,” Burnett said. “Police there, everything. It wasn’t predominantly African-American, and guess what? No one got arrested at those events. If that was an African-American event, the jails would probably be filled up. I think it’s almost a discrimination issue.” Mayor Rahm Emanuel has yet to take a position.
Thanks Chicago Tribune.