The mayor and police superintendent in Chicago are sounding like crusaders for decriminalization of narcotics. Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s recommendation “on cannabis (is) for the state to do what the city of Chicago has done: as it relates to 15 grams or less, leave it to the police officer for the judgment of whether to write a ticket or not.” For other controlled substances, “to lower it from a felony to a misdemeanor” for up to a gram.
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The idea is to free up space in jails and prisons and free up time for police and courts to concentrate on violent offenders. “Studies show that locking people up for low-level amounts of narcotics does not dissuade them from using narcotics,” added Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy. “It’s almost an exercise in futility.” Emanuel and McCarthy testified before a joint committee of state lawmakers on criminal justice in Chicago.