Chicago Cops Won't Arrest You Over a Little Weed

But you'll get still get a ticket under new marijuana policy
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2012 2:27 PM CDT
Mayor Rahm Emanuel reveals that he supports a plan to issue tickets to pot offenders rather than arresting them during an interview with the AP at his City Hall office in this May 18 photo.   (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)
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(Newser) – Expect to smell some celebratory puffs in Chicago. The city council voted today to approve a policy allowing police to ticket, rather than arrest, anyone found with 15 grams of marijuana or less, NBC Chicago reports. The policy, which is backed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel among others, passed by a whopping 43-3 margin. "This is about being efficient and realistic," said one alderman. Another called it a "monumental ordinance."

Tickets will range from $250-$500, with part of the money earmarked for anti-drug campaigns for kids. But don't get too cocky, potheads; you'll still be arrested if you're caught smoking pot, or possessing it in or near a school or park. Minors will also be arrested, regardless of how much pot they're carrying. Supporters believe the plan will ultimately save the police department $1 million, but opponents worry it sends the wrong message to kids. (Read more Chicago stories.)

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