Chicago Sheriff Not Using Authority To Ticket For Pot Possession


Nearly a year after Chicago’s Cook County Board passed a controversial ordinance allowing sheriff’s police to ticket pot smokers for minor possession instead of arresting them, police have yet to issue a single ticket, the Chicago Tribune reports. County commissioners made headlines last July when they gave officers the choice to either arrest people in unincorporated areas possessing 10 grams or less of marijuana, or to hand out tickets for $200.

Sheriff Tom Dart, who says he was never consulted before the measure was passed, has long been skeptical of the ordinance’s impact. With Dart’s office making only about a dozen or so arrests each year – none so far this year – his office says the ordinance won’t alleviate the county’s overworked court system or act as a cash cow, two points made by supporters. “Writing tickets to maybe 10 (or) 12 people a year won’t bring in the types of revenues I think some are expecting,” said Steve Patterson, a spokesman for Dart. “And it certainly won’t unclog our courts system, as has been contended.” The latest marijuana-related roadblock comes at a time when cities across the country are discussing allowing the use of medicinal marijuana, and, as California is contemplating, total decriminalization and taxation of marijuana.

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