If you are caught with less than 30 grams of marijuana in the city of Crystal Lake, your penalty remains an arrest and visit through the local judicial system.
The Crystal Lake City Council on Tuesday night unanimously voted against amending its Possession of Cannabis code to allow police officers to issue tickets to offenders holding small amounts of the drug.
In August, most council members appeared to support the staff recommended change - as it promised to eliminate lengthy arrest and processing time police spend on the crimes. The tickets would have carried fines between $500 to $1,000 without the possibility of jail time.
But the council wasn't in agreement regarding the maximum standard to include in the amendment - 30 grams, 15 grams or less. For that reason, council members asked Police Chief David Linder to investigate similar laws in area communities.
Linder's followup report listed of 71 Illinois communities with measurements that varied considerably, from 2.5 to 30 grams. Most local codes capped at 30 grams possession of cannabis, city documents show.
Many municipalities enacted local codes to give police officers more time patroling the streets and less time processing smaller possession crimes. Communities that haven't enacted local codes follow the state laws.
In discussing the matter, council members removed a previous motion made to approve an amendment allowing police to issue tickets to offenders caught with 15 grams or less of marijuana, and then voted down an amendment that would have allowed them to set a different amount.
Some council members said they wanted to refer the issue to the incoming police chief, James Black, who starts in January.
Linder retires at the end of this month.
Currently under Illinois law, possessing less than 30 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor offense; possession of more than 30 grams cannabis is a felony. In 2011, Crystal Lake Police made more than 50 arrests for misdemeanor cannabis possession offenses, Linder reported.
Related Crystal Lake-Cary Patch articles:
CL to Revisit Ticking for 'Possession of Marijuana' Issue
CL Considers Marijuana Amendment Allowing Police to Ticket for Possession
CL City Council Tables Vote on Changing 'Possession of Marijuana' Ordinance