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Crystal Lake to Revisit 'Ticketing for Marijuana Possession' Amendment

City leaders tonight will re-address an amendment proposal that would allow police officers to issue tickets to people caught with small amounts of marijuana in lieu of making an arrest.

The Crystal Lake City Council on Tuesday night is expected to re-examine an amendment proposal enabling police officers to issue tickets to offenders caught with small amounts of marijuana.

The council will review the issue tonight at its regularly scheduled meeting at 7:30 p.m. at the  100 W. Woodstock St., Crystal Lake.

Many Illinois communities in recent years have amended local codes to give officers the option of issuing tickets carrying hefty fines in lieu of making an arrest, Crystal Lake Police Chief David Linder said in August.

Arrests for small amounts of cannabis possession can be a lengthy process requiring officers to transport subjects to the station for finger printing and processing. A crime that can be relatively minor can take several hours to process, Linder said.

Ticketing allows police officers more time patrolling the streets where they are needed, officials said.

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In August, city leaders were scheduled to vote on the amendment, but Mayor Aaron Shepley opposed the code change as written. The original amendment would have permitted police officers to issue a ticket to offenders in possession of less than 30 grams of the drug.

Shepley stated at the August 7 council meeting that 30 grams seemed too liberal of an amount. Shepley and other council members asked Crystal Lake Chief Linder to further investigate the laws used by other communities. 

Linder has since compiled a lengthy report containing ordinance standards used by several area communities. The standards varied considerably with some municipalities setting maximum possession at 2.5 grams, 20 grams and 30 grams of marijuana, city documents show.

Currently under Illinois law, possessing less than 30 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor offense and possession of more than 30 grams of the drug is considered a felony. In 2011, Crystal Lake Police made more than 50 arrests for misdemeanor cannabis possession offenses, Linder reported.

Possession of cannabis tickets would carry fines of $500 to $1,000. The process would be similar to the city's new synthetic drug possession fines.  

Patroling officers would always have the option of issuing a ticket, or making an arrest for individuals found in possession of marijuana. Those with more than 30 grams would automatically be arrested. 

 

Related Crystal Lake-Cary Patch articles:

CL Considers Marijuana Amendment Allowing Police to Ticket for Possession

CL City Council Tables Vote on Changing 'Possession of Marijuana' Ordinance

Malcolm Kyle December 04, 2012 at 02:21 PM
An appeal to all Prohibitionists: Most of us know that individuals who use illegal drugs are going to get high—no matter what, so why do you not prefer they acquire them in stores that check IDs and pay taxes? Gifting the market in narcotics to ruthless criminals, foreign terrorists, and corrupt law enforcement officials is seriously compromising our future. Why do you wish to continue with a policy that has proven itself to be a poison in the veins of our once so "proud & free" nation? Even if you cannot bear the thought of people using drugs, there is absolutely nothing you, or any government, can do to stop them. We have spent 40 years and trillions of dollars on this dangerous farce; Prohibition will not suddenly and miraculously start showing different results. Do you actually believe you may personally have something to lose If we were to begin basing our drug policy on science & logic instead of ignorance, hate and lies? Maybe you're a police officer, a prison guard, or a local/national politician. Possibly you're scared of losing employment, overtime pay, the many kickbacks, and those regular fat bribes. But what good will any of that do you once our society has followed Mexico over the dystopian abyss of dismembered bodies, vats of acid, and marauding thugs carrying gold-plated AK-47s with leopard-skinned gunstocks? Kindly allow us to forgo the next level of your sycophantic prohibition-engendered mayhem!
Darren Rivchin December 04, 2012 at 04:23 PM
There is a false sense of security for the pot using individuals that think this will be a win win. Once the busy police officer has found your sack of grass. Whether it is a 1 gram joint or a 30 gram sack. He now has probable cause to ask.... Have you been smoking tonight? Not that anyone would ever have pot in their possession and smoke it in the car god forbid..... But now that the pot is found it is probable cause to have the blood tests and driving tests. Im guessing after 1 to 2 hits the THC level with todays potent pot could now cost this individual 15 grand or so?

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