The far south Chicago suburb of Chicago Heights, Illinois, has hopped on the marijuana decriminalization bandwagon. The town of just over 30,000 people acted Monday night to craft a local ordinance that it will use instead of prosecuting people under state law.
Under the ordinance approved under the city's home rule authority, people caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana will not face criminal charges, but will instead be ticketed and go through an administrative hearing in city court.
Making simple marijuana possession an ordinance violation rather than a crime will help "unclog" the criminal justice system, said City Attorney TJ Somer. It will also provide extra revenue to the city because the city does not have to share revenue from fines with the Cook County Circuit Court system, as it would have to do if it handled them under state law.