Mayor Lori Lightfoot proposes reducing penalties for marijuana use in Chicago

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Mayor Lori Lighfoot has introduced a new proposal that would reduce penalties for marijuana use in Chicago.

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The proposed ordinance would reform the city's enforcement polices and rules regarding the possession and use of cannabis to reflect its legalization in Chicago and statewide stating January 1, 2020.

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The mayor wants to stop impounding cars found with pot, as well as dramatically reduces fines for minor unlawful possession. She said it aims to ensure public safety and quality of life for all residents across Chicago.

The mayor argues Chicago's cannabis laws disproportionately impact communities of color.

"For far too long, unjust and outdated cannabis enforcement laws have adversely and disproportionately affected Chicago's black and brown neighborhoods," Lightfoot said. " The legalization of cannabis in Illinois presents a powerful opportunity to reform our policies and right these generation-old wrongs of the past as we work to ensure a safe, fair and responsible implementation in Chicago."

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Chicago police officers will also undergo training to best understand and enforce reformed laws.

"By overturning outdated cannabis laws, Chicago's police officers will finally have a smart, sensible and safe framework that truly prioritizes public safety of all resident in this City," CPD Superintendent Eddie Johnson said.

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If approved by the City Council, the amendments to the Chicago Municipal Code will be implemented on at the start of the new year.

This proposal is just one effort as the city continues to develop rules and regulations to guide the legalized sale and consumption of cannabis in the city and state.
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