Chicago mayor supports reducing pot penalty
CHICAGO – With the homicide rate in Chicago climbing at an alarming pace, police may soon get some help keeping a lid on violent crime from an unlikely source: marijuana.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy support an ordinance that would allow police officers to ticket anyone caught with a small amount of marijuana instead of going through the time-consuming arrest process that takes them off the street for hours at a time.
Police arrested more than 18,000 people last year for misdemeanor possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana, which “tied up more than 45,000 police hours,” McCarthy said in a statement. “The new ordinance nearly cuts that time in half ... freeing up cops to address more serious crime.”
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