Chicago OKs tickets for small amounts of marijuana
CHICAGO – Chicago's City Council on Wednesday passed an ordinance that allows police to ticket people found with small amounts of marijuana instead of arresting them, saying aldermen had to do something to keep officers on the street where they can combat the surging homicide rate and not be tied up for hours doing paperwork.
The 43-3 vote in favor of the ordinance, which allows officers to write a ticket for $250 to $500 for possessing as much as 15 grams of marijuana or about 15 marijuana cigarettes, was expected after a council committee voted 13-1 last week to approve the measure.
But aldermen still debated about two hours before passing the ordinance, with many saying they were not comfortable with a measure that could be seen as sending a message that they are condoning drug use. Others said they needed to act to protect an increasingly nervous city where homicides are up 38 percent this year compared to the same period last year.
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