Cook County, Il., Board President Todd Stroger is hinting that he will veto legislation approved by the board yesterday to decriminalize carrying small amounts of marijuana, says the Chicago Tribune. “I don’t know how this popped up, and I haven’t done a lot of research,” he told WGN-AM 720 host Greg Jarrett. “Off the top of my head, I don’t think it’s such a great idea. I’m not really an advocate of trying to decriminalize the drug that people start before they move on to the higher stuff.”
The board voted to decriminalize possession of under 10 grams of pot in unincorporated areas of Cook County. Those are the areas in which the county’s sheriff’s police have jurisdiction. The measure gives the sheriff latitude to arrest a suspect on a misdemeanor charge or issue a $200 ticket if 10 grams or less is being carried. A spokesman for County Sheriff Tom Dart said the move caught the department by surprise. The measure was pushed by Commissioner Earlean Collins, who said her grandson was busted for carrying a small amount of pot. She said arrests like that clog the jails.