It's no longer a crime to be caught smoking pot in Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago. Monday night the city council unanimously decriminalized cannabis possession. Now if caught with small amounts of pot, offenders will only get fined, similar to speeding offenses.
If a person is found in possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana, police can fine him or her $50 to $500. Before, if a person possessed between 2.5 and 10 grams, one would face six months in jail and/or up to a $1,500 fine. Evanston's mayor said decriminalizes pot will increase employment in the area.
"If we pass this ordinance, we would have more of our young people who could get jobs," (Evanston Mayor Elizabeth) Tisdahl said at a council subcommittee meeting earlier this month. "Police spend much more time arresting someone than they do ticketing them, so we would have police spending more time on the street dealing with more serious criminals.”
That's all nice, but isn't it still illegal to purchase or sell cannabis? As of yesterday, even medicinal marijuana has not been legalized at the state level. So how's that gonna work? We shall see ...