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Chicago Decriminalizes Marijuana With Overwhelming 43-2 Vote
By admin on June 29, 2012
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The Chicago City Council on Wednesday voted to decriminalize possession of marijuana with an overwhelming 43-2 vote. The measure was backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Under the new ordinance, police officers in Chicago, the third-largest city in the United States, can issue a written violation for possession of 15 grams or less of cannabis, rather than making an arrest, reports Reuters. People who are caught with under half an ounce of marijuana will now face fines between $ 250 and $ 500, instead of being arrested.
The measure will help raise revenue for the city, according to supporters, as well as saving money on enforcement and incarceration and freeing up police to pursue more important matters. Unfortunately, officers would still have the authority to arrest people, even for small amounts of marijuana, rather than ticket them. Does anyone really believe that a few rabidly anti-pot assholes in the police department won’t give the whole force a bad name?
Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy has said that the measure will free more than 20,000 hours of police time each year that is currently spent on making and processing arrests for small amounts of marijuana.