The Chicago City Council committee on public safety voted 13-1 today
for an ordinance pushed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel to change possession of
less than 15 grams of marijuana from a criminal offense to a civil
violation punishable by fine.
The committee hearing raised
questions about how fines would be implemented, particularly if they
might disproportionately hurt black residents in low-income
neighborhoods who make up about 75 percent of the of Chicago Police Department's pot arrests.
will raise dollars on the backs of poor people,” said Ald. Pat Dowell
(3rd) at the hearing. Dowell and other black caucus aldermen, such as
Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), raised these concerns, but did not vote
against the legislation. Read more »