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  Chicago Police Might Soften Approach To Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on July 30, 2011 at 17:43:30 PT
By John Byrne, Tribune Reporter 
Source: Chicago Tribune 

cannabis Illinois -- In a potential shift in attitude, Chicago police may begin issuing citations to people caught with small amounts of marijuana instead of booking them and locking them up, Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Saturday.

The superintendent's remarks came after Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle highlighted last week how people arrested for possessing small quantities of drugs often clog up the system, only to have their cases later dismissed by judges.

McCarthy said he talked about the issue with Mayor Rahm Emanuel as far back as May. He insisted police will continue to arrest people for marijuana offenses, but said the arrestees might get a citation or a court summons, rather than being booked.

"We will continue to make arrests for illegal behavior, whether it's public urination or whether it's carrying a firearm. It's really that simple," McCarthy said after joining Emanuel and Ald. Deborah Graham, 29th, at an anti-violence march in the Austin neighborhood. "We're looking at different arrest processing, not not making the arrests."

Police officials are at this point considering changing only the marijuana policy, according to McCarthy. "It's not cooked yet," he said. "I think that people are going to see some changes down the road."

In any case, people caught with marijuana whom police suspect of more serious crimes or who have outstanding arrest warrants will continue to be processed, McCarthy said.

"If somebody's not properly identified, they can't receive a summons, and if they have a warrant, they can't receive a summons," the superintendent said. "So we want to make sure we're getting the right people. You don't want to get the wrong people and put them in the system."

McCarthy said he can't concern himself with whether judges tend to dismiss petty drug cases. But he wants officers to be able to handle such infractions expeditiously.

"My problem is figuring out the best way to get those things prosecuted in an efficient manner so that I can turn my cops back around and get them back on the street quickly," he said.

Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)
Author: John Byrne, Tribune Reporter
Published: July 31, 2011
Copyright: 2011 Chicago Tribune Company
Website: http://www.chicagotribune.com/
URL: http://drugsense.org/url/axaVDNcV
Contact: http://drugsense.org/url/DKtD0QMf

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Comment #3 posted by paulpeterson on August 26, 2011 at 13:06:17 PT:

Chicago has been "landlocked" by rebel zone
Remember, I got ALL surrounding suburbs to start decriminalization, back in '01, and Mayor Daley actually floated decrim in Chicago, back in '05 (then, the police union balked).

So this is no surprise there. Also, remember that after I visited each criminal court district, judges started GAVELING DOWN AND DISMISSING ALL POT POSSESSION CASES-since a brave lawyer had taken the time to talk to judges honestly about the need for change here.

So yes, this is a major DIKE BREAK, bringing Chicago into rebel held zone, and it has taken a long time for the pressure to build there.

What are we up to-17 states plus DC? And probably another dozen perched on the fence, ready to join the BUM RUSH to tolerance?

Over and out, from the frontier, in Iowa. By the way, I still have a major civil rights case pending in fed court against the local police, so I am still pounding away aT ruthless, rigid, livid, slathering bad cops. PAUL PETERSON

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Comment #2 posted by FoM on July 30, 2011 at 20:10:36 PT
The Way I See It
It's a beginning for Chicago. Once change happens even if it doesn't seem like much it really matters. It means that minds are changing even though it is ever so slight.

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Comment #1 posted by runruff on July 30, 2011 at 19:55:23 PT
Toni Preckwinkle
I'm not saying a word!

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