Good news for green enthusiasts in the Windy City.
According to the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago City Council voted Wednesday that they would decriminalize marijuana possession, joining a number of states who have opted for fines instead of arrests for small amounts of the drug.
Beginning Aug. 4, police can issue tickets of between $250 and $500 to someone caught with 15 grams or less of pot. More than 18,000 people are arrested for pot possession in Chicago annually, allowing the new law to allocate dollars towards Chicago. When the marijuana cases are dismissed, there’s no cash flow into the city.
Chi-town’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel relied on a lengthy list of misbehavior to take care of the city’s budget but says marijuana fines weren’t put in place for financial benefits.
“It’s not about revenue, it’s about what (police officers) were doing with their time,” the mayor said. “The only revenue I’m interested in, I don’t want to be paying for these officers time and a half to sit in a courtroom for four hours on something that 80 to 90 percent of the time will be thrown out and everybody, both the residents and police officers and judges, already knows the outcome.”