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Marijuana: Chicago Heights Decriminalizes

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #563)
Drug War Issues

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.

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Anonymous (not verified)

Looks like decrim is sweeping the nation. I couldn't be happier. This is the only way to end prohibition, really. A national reversal is nice to hope for, but altogether unlikely. City by city, state by state, this is how it must be.

Fri, 12/05/2008 - 5:23pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Ya notice the final comment of the article? It's actually the basis of the rule reversal.

"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."

Bottom line: It's not about morality or the children. Plain and simple, it's about the money!

I'm glad one community has awaken to figure out how to fund their city. With a bit more openess, I'm sure they'll find other avenues to tax.

Sat, 12/06/2008 - 3:39pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

There'll come a time when so many states have enacted medical marijuana, and marijuana liberalization laws, that the Feds won't be able to do anything about it.

Sat, 12/06/2008 - 8:11pm Permalink
mrclay (not verified)

We'll take sensible reform where we can get it. I just watched "Grass" and had never known that so many states had decriminalized independently in the 70s (being born in 74), but this time the population has a much stronger bullshit detector, called the web.

I'm hopeful, but then again, I'm only a few months into the effort. I imagine having your hopes crushed year after after can make you pretty pessimistic.

Sat, 12/06/2008 - 9:49pm Permalink
Rhubarb Koznowski (not verified)

Many people are confused or misinformed regarding the reason marijuana is illegal. Some simply rant about the unfairness of it all, others cite one scientific study or another to justify their position that pot laws should be repealed. A few vow to fight the "system" over the issue, even unto their death . Some rage, and then light up. I have said this here before, and I repeat it again: Pot laws have no basis in fact, or anything to do with Marijuana.
They are about two things. 1. Money. 2. Power. The legal authority granted officials by these laws allows surveillance of the populace, seizure of property, denial of civil rights and liberties, and even state sanctioned imprisonment or death.
They are about two things. 1. Money. 2.Power. Until we learn to recognize the motivation of those who would deny our freedoms, we cannot and will not develop strategies to overcome them.
They are about two things. 1. Money. 2. Power.

Sun, 12/07/2008 - 10:43pm Permalink
Rhubarb Koznowski (not verified)

"He who joyfully marches in rank and file
has already earned my contempt.
He has been given a large brain by mistake,
since for him the spinal cord would suffice." -- Albert Einstein

Sun, 12/07/2008 - 10:44pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

Lightem up my fellow brothers and sisters.

Wed, 12/10/2008 - 12:09pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

This is not decriminalization. This is extortion. This is a means of extorting money from those that posess marijuana. They catch you, you pay them off and they wont prosecute you criminally. Their price is $750.00 This town is imfamous for conducting business with payoff's.

Tue, 12/16/2008 - 1:34am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified),120408chcouncil.article

They still want to bust you....and get all the money!

Tue, 12/16/2008 - 1:42am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

This may be a bit off-topic, but in case you didn't know, alcohol is one of the most addictive and lethal inebriants known to man. How lethal is it? Well, alcohol is more lethal, even in recreational circumstances, than the following drugs:

MDMA ("extacy")
Rohyonol ("rufies")
Ketamine ("Special K or K")

Substances MORE lethal than alcohol:


What does this mean? In practical terms, it means that a heavy drinker is more likely to die from their drug of choice than a cocaine addict. Sounds like the world is going topsy-turvy, doesn't it?

Thu, 03/12/2009 - 4:51pm Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)


Mon, 03/16/2009 - 2:39am Permalink
Anonymous (not verified)

I'm a proud resident of Chicago Heights and an avid pot smoker. I'm glad our nation is finally realizing that
Marijuana isn't as bad as most brainwashed people make it seem, and could finally inderectly make money from it. Hopefully the rest of the nation follows suit and decrimanlized this beautiful plant.

Fri, 05/15/2009 - 7:41pm Permalink

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