Past Wednesday, Chicago's City Council voted 43-3 to decriminalize marijuana possession.
Now instead of being arrested you will just get a ticket for carrying a small amount of cannabis in your pocket ( under 0.5 unce or less, which is about 25 cigarette size joints). The police officers can give you a ticket as small as 250$ or higher - up to 500$.
The new law will be active on August 4 2012.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel said that more then 18,000 people arrested in Chicago every year for marijuana possession. So if each of them will get a fine instead of being arrested, the city budget will increase big time. Mayor Rahm believes that with the bad behavior of the citizens, the city budget will ease 26$ million in fines for weed possession, speeding, not feeding parking meters and driving with suspended license.
Also Rahm said that "he doesn't want to pay for the officers time that they spend in the courtroom, where a citizen, police officer and judge already know that 80 to 90 percent of cases will be dismissed. Instead those officers can on the streets of the city, fighting some bigger issues that we have."
However police will still arrest suspects pot dealers, smokers under 17 and anybody who is smoking on a street, park or school ground.