Emanuel Backs Decriminalizing Marijuana
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Emanuel Backs Decriminalizing Marijuana
Posted by CN Staff on June 15, 2012 at 09:15:57 PT
By Kristen Mack, Tribune Reporter
Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel is throwing his support behind a plan to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana. Under the proposed ordinance, police officers will have the discretion to issue tickets with fines ranging from $100 to $500 for people carrying 15 grams or less of pot.Last fall, Ald. Danny Solis, 25th, introduced a similar plan, selling the idea as a way to raise revenue for the city and free up police to chase more serious criminals. Emanuel is backing a modified version of Solis' ordinance.
“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,” Emanuel said in a statement. “The result is an ordinance that allows us to observe the law, while reducing the processing time for minor possession of marijuana — ultimately freeing up police officers for the street.”Currently people caught in possession face a misdemeanor charge punishable by up to six months in jail and a $1,500 fine.Chicago Police Department statistics indicate that last year there were 18,298 arrests for possession of less than 10 grams of cannabis, according to the mayor's office. Each case involves approximately four officers — two arresting and two transporting officers — and places an additional burden on the Cook County court and jail system.Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy estimates that the new ordinance will free up more than 20,000 hours of police time, which he estimates is the equivalent of about $1 million in savings.“I am pleased that Mayor Emanuel has taken this step to address this important issue," Solis said in a statement. "One of the most significant results of this ordinance is that it will allow our police officers to spend more time out policing our neighborhoods and less time processing minor offenses and filling out paperwork. Passing this ordinance will be a major victory in promoting safe neighborhoods and reducing crime."Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle has previously expressed support for such a plan, saying that the Cook County Jail and courts are jammed with petty marijuana offenders. She has said: "Taxpayers deserve our resources to be spent more productively — on long-term infrastructure projects and on alternative diversion programs for our youth population who circulate through the criminal justice system." Source: Chicago Tribune (IL)Author: Kristen Mack, Tribune ReporterPublished: June 15, 2012Copyright: 2012 Chicago Tribune CompanyWebsite: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #15 posted by Hope on June 17, 2012 at 09:10:38 PT
Comment 5
Happy Anniversary Year!
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Comment #14 posted by FoM on June 16, 2012 at 06:16:06 PT
Thank You!
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Comment #13 posted by ekim on June 15, 2012 at 21:24:07 PT
39 you guys sound likejackbenny
so smilyen for you two
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Comment #12 posted by FoM on June 15, 2012 at 19:13:52 PT
I think you are right. They don't know how to lose gracefully so they do it in round about ways slow and steady never straight forward. There really are a lot of anti people out there but the polls are starting to go our way. Gay marriage is an example of how people stop making something out of something that shouldn't be an issue.
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Comment #11 posted by FoM on June 15, 2012 at 19:10:16 PT
Thank you. We have been together 24 hours a day since Stick had his heart attack in March of 09. We are lucky since we are also best friends. You got to like your partner. LOL!
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Comment #10 posted by runruff on June 15, 2012 at 19:02:36 PT
I have a suspicion?
Previously some of these "for decrim" advocates were of the most staunch drug warriors.What changed them? I believe they are taking a page from Gov'ner Aaanode's play book in California. As it is evident that they have lost the war on cannabis they are trying to short cut the inevitable. By making it decrim, they make it seem like the whole process of making it legal is not any longer necessary. They are holding on to the Controlled Substance Act, Asset Forfeiture laws and the right to confiscate large catches of pot and cash. They will in the mean time have a great revenue machine.Never trust a lawyer. Only someone with blind ambition would spend and sacrifice what it takes to enable ones self to commit legal robbery with nothing but a pen.
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Comment #9 posted by runruff on June 15, 2012 at 18:50:03 PT
Change the bong water folks...'s going to be a festive night!39 years! Holy matrimony, Batman!Good news, this! Tonight I watched a doc on John Lennon. He was talking about how relationships don't just happen but are tended and nurtured and that is what keeps one healthy.So far so good, eh?
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Comment #8 posted by FoM on June 15, 2012 at 18:24:22 PT
Thank you! It has been a good day. I think tonight could be a long one. It has been 20 years since we have had a litter of puppies so I know things can go terribly wrong or work out well. I am hoping everything goes well. 
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Comment #7 posted by greenmed on June 15, 2012 at 18:20:20 PT
FoM and Stick
Dear Fom and Stick, Congratulations on your anniversary!Hats off to schmeff -- thank you for the timely reminder!Fom, enjoy the midwoofery... hope to see some photos soon :-)
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on June 15, 2012 at 16:22:48 PT
Wow, Thank you so much! We have been married 39 years today.  Right now I am acting as a Mid-woof! LOL! My rottie is in labor. It is going to be a very long night and hopefully a good night.
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Comment #5 posted by schmeff on June 15, 2012 at 15:58:31 PT
Off topic:Happy, happy to Mr. & Mrs. StickMay you ever endure.(You know we all love you, right?)
[ Post Comment ]

Comment #4 posted by The GCW on June 15, 2012 at 15:37:41 PT
Last summer
A guy I worked with went to Chi Town to visit His Mother and indicated that during the weekend about 53 homicides to place there. Gee, do they think keeping cops on the street instead of messing with people using a peaceful plant will help? Duh.Cannabis prohibition and extermination makes everything worse. They are starting to figure that out and when they do it will become a firestorm of revelation. Gosh, it will help this and this and that and that and holy smokes WHY DID WE EVER PROHIBIT THIS VALUABLE PLANT TO BEGIN WITH?
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Comment #3 posted by FoM on June 15, 2012 at 14:07:04 PT
Related Article From The Associated Press
Emanuel, Police Chief Support Reducing Penalty for Marijuana***By The Associated Press June 15, 2012 Chicago -- With the murder rate in Chicago climbing at an alarming rate, 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 both 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.”More significantly, the alderman who drafted the ordinance — which turns small amounts of pot into a ticketable, not jailable offense— said it not only addresses concerns about fairness but also provides increased safety for city’s most dangerous neighborhoods.Alderman Danny Solis said most of those arrested are black and Hispanic and come from predominantly minority neighborhoods — the ones in the thick of the violence. “The irony is that the worst crime is happening in our city is happening in the same neighborhoods where the possession (arrests) are happening,” said Alderman Danny Solis. “The police officer is now going to be more in the neighborhoods that need him or her than in the district doing paperwork.”States across the country are starting to relax their laws on marijuana possession. This month alone, governors in Rhode Island and New York moved toward decriminalization of small amounts of the drug.In Rhode Island, Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed a bill that imposes a $150 civil fine on adults caught with an ounce or less of marijuana. And New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has proposed a bill that would change possession of small amounts of marijuana from a criminal misdemeanor to a violation with a fine up to $100.Current marijuana laws disproportionately affect minority communities. Cuomo acknowledged, for example, that 82 percent of those arrested in New York City were either black or Hispanic. And when Solis first introduced the ordinance in November, he and others also pointed to statistics that suggest that the arrests themselves are a colossal waste of time.Of the 8,625 misdemeanor marijuana cases between 2006 and 2010, about 87 percent were dismissed, according to statistics from the Cook County Clerk of the Circuit Court.But it’s a marked jump in Chicago’s homicide rate that may have given Solis’ proposal more steam. Murders are up by about 50 percent so far this year compared to the same period last year. “I’m a realist,” said Solis. “That has to have been an influence.”Emanuel had made it clear in November that he was open to the idea of the ordinance, even saying a member of the police department’s gang unit had made the same suggestion. He then directed McCarthy to study it, with McCarthy also signaling that he would consider it because it would free up officers. “The mayor was serious about this, but he wanted to make sure we had all the research and analysis done,” Solis said. “So I told him I won’t call it to a committee until your staff and the police do that work.”With that work done, Solis said he expects the full City Council to vote and pass the ordinance later this month, with it becoming the law sometime this summer.Under the ordinance, anyone in possession of 15 grams of marijuana — roughly the equivalent of 15 marijuana cigarettes — faces a fine between $100 and $500.Copyright: 2012 The Associated Press
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Comment #2 posted by Sam Adams on June 15, 2012 at 12:39:00 PT
the timing of this, simultaneous with NYC, really shows you our government works in the USA.All the decisions are made behing the scenes by a very small number of people. That is what I take away from this stuff. If we really had democracy, you'd see all sorts of different marijuana law schemes being tried by every state legislature. Instead, they all move in lock-step. The only new schemes are forced upon them by ballot referendums.My guess is that these urban-decrims are being forced by the education arm of city governments. They know they are competing for the same dollars, the teachers' unions are beating out the police unions right now.
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Comment #1 posted by The GCW on June 15, 2012 at 09:40:15 PT
This is another step in the desired direction BUT
I can not help but ask;about "discretion"If there is a white guy and a black guy who both have the same amount of the God-given superplant, WHICH ONE GETS THE $100 fine and which one gets the $500 fine?-It's all government subsidized discrimination but they must stop the ignorance slowly so there is nobody having to experience freedom, -COLD TURKEY.-0-And instead of, "as a way to raise revenue for the city and free up police to chase more serious criminals.",,,would they consider, letting murderers, rapists and armed burglers just pay a fine so they can free up police to chase more people who have cannabis which are not "CRIMINALS" at all?
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