The Chicago City Council voted 43-2 to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana Wednesday afternoon.
According to NBC News, The new policy gives police the option to issue a ticket for possession of 15 grams of marijuana or less. Arrests would still be mandated for anyone caught smoking pot in public or possessing marijuana in or near a school or in or near a park
Supporters of the ordinance, including Mayor Rahm Emanuel, said issuing tickets frees up cops for more serious crime and ultimately will save the police department about $1 million.
Opponents of the plan said it does nothing to prevent Chicago’s drug and gang problems.
Under the plan, anyone caught with pot under the age of 17 or without proper identification would still be arrested. Tickets would range from $250 to $500. A portion of that money, Emanuel said, would be earmarked for an anti-drug campaign aimed at kids.
Now Chicago can put more focus on bigger things – like the homicide rate.