Chicago City Council Decriminalizes Marijuana

No, marijuana has not been legalized. However NBC News reports that the new policy 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.

According to Mayor Rahm Emanuel and other supporters of the new policy, the policy will save the police department about $1 million and free cops up to deal with more serious crimes, such as the homicide rate and gangs. However, many non-supporters say that it does nothing to prevent Chicago’s drug and gang problems.

With the new policy in place, anyone under 17 caught with marijuana without proper identification will still be arrested. Tickets range from $250 to $500. A portion of that money will be earmarked for an anti-drug campaign aimed at kids, says Emanuel.


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