Chicago Decriminalizes Small Amounts Of Pot

Source: NBC Chicago / MSNBC

CHICAGO – The Chicago City Council Wednesday voted 43-3 to approve a new city pot policy. The ordinance gives police the option to issue a ticket for possession of 15 grams of marijuana or less. Arrests would still be mandated for anyone caught smoking pot in public or possessing marijuana in or near a school or in or near a park. The new rules go into effect Aug. 4.

Ald. Danny Solis (25th), who introduced the proposal last fall, called it a “monumental ordinance” that will have “a definite impact.”

“I don’t have any problem with people arresting somebody as far as a crime,” Solis said, “but when this arrest basically turns out to be where nothing happens … I have to seriously look at what we’re doing.”

Supporters of the ordinance, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said issuing tickets frees up cops for more serious crime and ultimately will save the police department about $1 million.

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