Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Politics

Chicago Mayor Proposes Statewide Drug Decriminalization

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel believes state lawmakers should consider decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of controlled substances across the entire state. Earlier this week, the mayor testified before the House Senate Joint Criminal Reform Committee, in which he delivered a lengthy speech about how eliminating some of the penalties associated with low-level drug offenses could be a catalyst for reducing violent crime.

“It’s time, in my view, to free up our criminal justice system to address our real public safety challenges and build on the progress that has been made,” said Emanuel.

This, of course, has been the attitude of Mayor Emanuel since at least 2012 when he supported a measure to make possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana punishable with a fine rather than criminal penalties. It is this level of drug reform, the mayor professed to lawmakers on Tuesday night, that should be implemented throughout the state as part of overall plan to revamp the Illinois criminal code.

During the hearing, the mayor argued that police agencies across the state should be permitted to issue citations for minor drug offenses, which his administration claims results in the arrest of 7,000 people every year.

By decriminalizing controlled substances across the state of Illinois, said the mayor, we would “change, not just the criminal system, and the fact that we’ll save time and money, but it also will change people’s lives. Some who are walking around with a felony, their employment prospects, their job prospects, their lives are on a different trajectory than if they had a misdemeanor associated with them.”

Reports in The Chicago Tribune indicate that the mayor’s focus on statewide drug reform is part of his scheme to get African-American legislators on his side when he makes the push to strengthen the state’s gun laws.

“The key issue is we really want comprehensive reform, and we want to reallocate resources we’re spending now on nonviolent, low-level offenders, so we can focus more on violent crime,” a representative for the Emanuel administration official told the Tribune.

The mayor’s proposal would make Illinois the 17th state to decriminalize possession of marijuana by reducing the penalty from a felony to a misdemeanor for anyone caught holding up to a gram of any controlled substance.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

HT Newsletter

Subscribe for exclusive access to deals, free giveaways and more!

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Advertisement

You May Also Like

News

The bill dictates that simple possession would only carry civil penalties.

News

GOP State Senator Michael Young derided the choice not to prosecute simple possession cases in Marion County.

News

If approved, it would echo a move away from cannabis prosecution taking place state-wide.

News

It's a step in the right direction for criminal justice reform.

News

Senator Karen Tallian is trying to move Indiana forward.

News

Republicans are not likely to support the decriminalization bill, which has been introduced by Wisconsin Democrats.

News

If signed into law, the bill would decriminalize certain quantities of cannabis.

News

It’s not legalization — but it’s still a win.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!