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Thursday, September 18, 2014

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Emanuel Supports Decriminalizing Small Amounts Of Pot

(SOURCE: Chicagoist.com) Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Thursday announced he would back a proposed ordinance by Ald. Danny Solis (25th) that would allow Chicago Police to write tickets to people caught possessing small amounts of marijuana. Emanuel said in a press release the ordinance "allows us to observe the law, while reducing the processing time for minor possession of marijuana - ultimately freeing up police officers for the street.”

Solis originally introduced the ordinance last year, in which people caught holding 10 grams of pot or less would receive a $200 ticket. Emanuel stopped short of throwing his influence behind the ordinance then but said an analysis by the Police Department showed it had its benefits.

“When the ordinance was first introduced, I asked the Chicago Police Department to do a thorough analysis to determine if this reform balanced public safety and common-sense rules that save taxpayer dollars to reinvest in putting more officers on the street."

Last year Chicago Police made 18,298 arrests for possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis. Each case involves approximately four officers-two arresting and two transporting officers-and Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy (who last week said he's not a fan of fully decriminalizing marijuana) said easing the burden on the Cook County court and jail system is backing the ordinance.

“These arrests tied up more than 45,000 police hours,” said Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy. “The new ordinance nearly cuts that time in half, which equals an approximate $1 million in savings, while freeing up cops to address more serious crime.”

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