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Thursday, Jul 30, 2009

* The clueless Daily Herald editorial board continues its clueless ways

The [Cook] county board voted to give sheriff’s police the option of writing a $200 ticket for possession of small amounts of marijuana. This departs from state law, which requires suspects to be booked, jailed and slapped with a criminal record.

Um, no. State law allows local governments to hand out the tickets. If memory serves, that goes all the way back to Jim Thompson’s era.

* By the by, Glenview apparently has the ticket option. This is from a recent police blotter

Joseph Gizzi, 18, of 2413 Saranac Lane, Glenview, was charged with possession of between 2.5 and 10 grams of marijuana late Friday after police stopped the vehicle in which he was a passenger on the 1500 block of Milwaukee Avenue. Bond was set at $1,000 pending an Sept. 3 court date.

Jesus Rodriquez, 21, of 103 Main St., Northfield, was issued tickets for possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia July 17 after police stopped him around 10:30 p.m. at 9th Street and South Branch.

Flavia Stavri, 19, of 7827 Beckwith Road, Morton Grove, was issued a ticket for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana July 22 after an officer stopped him around 7 p.m. at Rugen Park, 2941 Harrison St.

After officers stopped a vehicle around 11 p.m. July 22 on the 9700 block of Milwaukee Avenue, Tomasz Dmyterko, 19, of 50 Stacy Court, Glenview, was issued tickets for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana and minor in possession of alcohol and Alan Koszyk, 19, of 8440 W. Ciara St., Niles, was issued a ticket for possession of drug paraphernalia.

James Westhoff, 18, of 630 Locust St., Winnetka, was issued tickets for possession of less than 10 grams of marijuana and possession of a fictitious identification card after officers stopped him Friday evening outside Chestnut Wines, 1762 Waukegan Road.

Last I checked, Glenview was not in chaos.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Speaking at Will - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 10:07 am:

    == Last I checked, Glenview was not in chaos. ==

    So a lack of Chaos is the new standard for success? Marijuana is illegal in the state of Illinois, this hodge podge enforcement / ticket writing in some places and jail time in other areas is chaos. Either legalize possession up to a certain amount statewide, or keep it illegal,

    This ticket writing for Marijuana shows that once again government is more concerned with revenue streams than making an attempt to curtail drug use.

  2. - wordslinger - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 10:15 am:

    This isn’t the first time the Herald editorial board has been averse to doing the reading.

    Still, it’s bizarre to write an editorial that presumes the county board is wantonly voting to defy state law. Journalism 101 would require you to check the facts before you write.

  3. - Objective Dem - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 10:23 am:

    If I’m not mistaken, a police record for drug possession also has all sorts of implications for student financial aid, ability to live in public housing, etc. I’m not sure if the ticket will have the same impact. I hope not because it makes the punishment disproportional to the crime.

  4. - The Doc - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 10:28 am:

    Speaking at Will, is it really that black and white in your eyes? I don’t hear much argument for legalizing marijuana. Alternatively, I think most folks realize jail time and/or a permanent criminal record is harshly punitive for a small amount of the stuff.

    What’s the problem with extracting a few bucks from violators? Certainly, a $200 fine is a deterrent, right?

  5. - Rob_N - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 10:29 am:

    Speaking, putting someone in jail costs a lot more than writing a ticket so it’s not just a “revenue stream” it’s a cost efficiency. You may not agree with the decision but the commissioners had to weigh how worthwhile and cost-effective it is to either lock up generally non-violent offenders or write them a ticket.

    Somehow I doubt the commissioners were seeing dollar signs as a result of writing tickets (rather than as a result of not having to expend the finances to house those offenders).

    Operating a jail is an expensive proposition.

  6. - ChiTownguy - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 10:32 am:

    I agree they should have checked the facts before writing this editorial. Silly mistake.

    I am a supporter of tickets versus criminal charges. However, my reading of the editorial didn’t come out so much against the law, as against the way and manner it was enacted - without consulting the sheriff’s office and by giving discretion to the officer writing the ticket.

    Unless I am missing some critical background information, both appear to be valid arguments. W

    Why not consult the sheriff beforehand?

    Why give officer’s discretion? Make it a ticket or don’t. Are there any other laws where a choice between ticket and jail is permitted?

    That should start a lively discussion here!

  7. - Speaking at Will - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 10:57 am:

    @ Rob N & The Doc.

    Your points are well taken on the costs of jailing small time drug offenders. Counties are struggling financially all across the state. I just dont like inconsistant application of the law. If we need to decriminalize marijuana through the reduction of the penalty for possession then great, lets do it. However this town by town free for all creates confusion, especially for those who are already baked by 10am.

  8. - Tunes - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 11:06 am:

    Cannabis should’ve been decriminalized long ago. This a huge step in the right direction. A victim-less crime if I ever heard of one. Now if the Federal government would only get their collective heads out of the sand and tax it- and take the $ out of the hands of the criminals, we’d all be better off for it…and No, I do not use it!

  9. - Velma D. - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 11:47 am:

    Speaking at Will, There has always been officer descretion involved in arrests. Remember station adjustments? Also consider underage drinking. There are state laws on the books on the topic (I’m talking just possession here, not driving). But much of the time municipal tickets are issued instead of an arrest. College towns utilize this a lot. Arrests occur if the problem is more serious or involves repeat offenders. I haven’t seen chaos or mass confusion resulting.

    Do you really think the Cook Co. court system handles minor pot possession consistently? Do you think the criminal courts take minor pot offenses seriously? Really?? Try sitting in a misdemeanor courtroom in the first district versus the second and see the difference. Then try a DuPage Co. Court, or Maybe Will Co., the same state law is interpreted differently all the time.

    I thing the real problem is that certain political toes were stepped on. As to the Herald, well, they need to do a bit of basic resarch before they start writing. Very sad.

  10. - Leroy - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 12:34 pm:

    OK, all you enterprising iPhone developers…come up with an app that displays a pot weed icon on the iPhone if you are in a pot friendly locale, and a mean looking cop if you aren’t.

    Should be easy.

  11. - Just Say No! - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 12:45 pm:

    It seems the only ones who are for de-criminaization are the ones who use marijuana themselves.

    Jail overcrowding and tax revenue are weak, baseless arguments for de-criminalization.

    Is pot addiction the sriving force here?

  12. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 12:52 pm:

    ===It seems the only ones who are for de-criminaization are the ones who use marijuana themselves. ===

    You are seeing only what you want to see.

    ===Is pot addiction the sriving force here? ===

    I don’t know what “sriving” means, but you got any real proof that pot is addictive?

  13. - Inish - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 1:03 pm:

    You don’t have to be pro pot to understand cost effective methodology…And the point of the post was that a major daily newspaper failed to do basic Journalism 101 level investigation.
    Perhaps the DH Ed board are all anti Bob Marley as well???

  14. - Inish - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 1:04 pm:

    That was a joke…who isn’t a Bob Marley fan…lol

  15. - 19th Ward - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 1:31 pm:

    -Just Say No!

    I’m not a pot smoker/drug user, but I’m all for de-criminalization.

  16. - Inish - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 2:01 pm:

    The county board vote is not about decriminalizing but a change of the consequence- ticket not jail

  17. - Ghost - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 3:23 pm:

    === de-criminalization ====

    it is still criminal. I do not understand why so many media outlets (and bloggers) insist on using this term.

  18. - MrJM - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 4:11 pm:

    As one who has never sampled pot, may I suggest the following 3-step plan:

    1. Decriminalize it.
    2. Regulate it.
    3. Tax it.

    – MrJM

  19. - Lynn S - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 11:41 pm:

    Speaking at Will–everytime the government tries to curtail drug use a black market and resultant law-breaking follow. Did you pay attention in your high school history class when they talked about Prohibition and the rise of the Mob in the 1920s?

    Oh, and by the way, marijuana was legal until 1937…

  20. - Lynn S - Thursday, Jul 30, 09 @ 11:52 pm:

    An Iphone app? OMG!!!!!!!! that is hilarious!!

    IF Apple would allow it, I imagine it may very well jump into the list of top 5 app sales within 2-3 days of its release! And the money they could make from it!! This is something you could price at $19.99, and folks would buy it because it would be sooooooooo much cheaper than a ticket!!

    It would be very easy to program this–you would just go off gps coordinates. The question, though, is how long your purchase would be good for (I would suggest at least a year), and are repurchases at original price or a lower rate?

    I’m going to have to call my brothers–they know programmers and could probably find a way to make $$$ on this.

    Rich–please don’t ever delete this post!! I will need it when I claim 10% of their Iphone app income!

    Thanks in advance for the belly laughs and the great idea!

    Lynn S. ;-)

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