City Council passes pot ticket ordinance - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

City Council passes pot ticket ordinance

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Now that Chicago has decriminalized marijuana, college students predicted that more of their peers are going to get stoned.

"It's going to be like drinking. If you're just going to get a ticket, more kids will be apt to do it," said UIC student Kayla Nesby, who estimates that 85 percent of fellow students already smoke pot.

Other students said the city shouldn't just stick its legal toe in the water; it should jump in.

"If you're going to do this, you should just legalize it," said Salvador Campos.

Under the new ordinance, starting August 4, police can still arrest people for smoking marijuana, or for having  it at schools or parks.  But anywhere else, those in possession of fifteen grams or less can receive tickets, with fines ranging from two hundred and fifty to five hundred dollars. 
    
"I want the police on the street dealing with gang bangers, dealing with gun violence, focusing on people perpetuating the violent crimes," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. 

The measure passed by a vote of 43 to three, with opponents saying it sends the wrong message to youngsters.

Although City Council decriminalized small amounts of marijuana Wednesday, but officials caught a huge amount on Tuesday.

Chicago police and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration confiscated eight tons of marijuana Tuesday night.

It's one of the biggest pot busts in the city's history.

Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy and government officials are holding a press conference about the bust later on Thursday.

"I think we're going to be promoting a culture of liberalization about the use in public of marijuana," said Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th).

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