Solis pitches tickets, not arrests, for pot possession
People found with small amounts would get $200 ticket, making money for city instead of losing it on jail
10/27/2011 1:05 PM
Small-time pot smokers who get nabbed in Chicago might get a lighter punishment, if a new plan from University Village and Pilsen Alderman Danny Solis (25th) passes the city council.
Solis wants police to just ticket, not arrest, anyone found with less than 10 grams of marijuana in the city of Chicago. Under Solis’ plan, they’d be fined $200 and be required to perform up to 10 hours of community service.
Solis claimed Thursday that the move would make the city money where it’s now squandering it. Right now, small-time offenders can be jailed for pot possession. A press release from Solis claimed that cost at $143 a day.
“This is an ordinance that will not only save the City of Chicago money, but will also increase and generate revenue,” Solis said in a written statement. “The City of Chicago can reallocate police manpower to more serious, dangerous criminal offenses while saving the taxpayers money.”
Among the other aldermen on board with the ordinance was Walter Burnett (27th). According to the Chicago Tribune, Burnett said the current laws disproportionately affect black men and women.
"I had the opportunity to go to Lollapalooza, Pitchfork, and I think I got contact high being at all those events,” Burnett said. “Police there, everything. It wasn't predominantly African American, and guess what? No one got arrested at those events. If that was an African American event, the jails would probably be filled up. I think it's almost a discrimination issue.”