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Today’s number: 71 percent

Friday, Sep 26, 2014

* As you know, I greatly prefer legalization, but Springfield’s decrim appears to be drastically cutting down on the city’s arrests for tiny amounts of marijuana. SJ-R

Arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana in Springfield dropped dramatically from 2009 to last year, following the city council’s move to change how such offenses are dealt with.

A decriminalization ordinance passed in 2009 said people found possessing less than 2.5 grams of marijuana would be ticketed and fined $300. Before the ordinance was passed, the offense would have resulted in a Class C misdemeanor charge that included a $1,500 fine. […]

There were 101 arrests in Springfield last year for possession of less than 2.5 grams of marijuana, a nearly 71 percent drop from the number of arrests for the same offense in 2009. […]

In the four-year period starting in 2010 and including 2014 to date, there have been 465 arrests in Springfield for small amounts of marijuana, according to figures provided by the city. During the same period, 1,627 citations were issued for such possession offenses, roughly 3 1/2 times the number of arrests.

But 2.5 grams is less than a tenth of an ounce. Maybe it should be expanded?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

14 Comments
  1. - Bemused - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 12:11 pm:

    I think Sheriff Neil Williamson of Sangamon County recently said he would not be surprised to see pot legal in IL in five years or so. I don’t think he necessarily approves of the idea but said it would free up some court and jail space.


  2. - Norseman - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 12:13 pm:

    This explains the quotes in the previous post!


  3. - Amalia - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 12:16 pm:

    just legalize marijuana. (and hemp plants, while we’re at it…they are not related!)

    for that matter, cocaine(hello, it’s called Coca Cola for a reason) and heroin, hash, opium, whatever.

    I don’t care if you drink alcohol or smoke cigarettes and those are legal and taxed. do the same with drugs.


  4. - georgeatt - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 12:17 pm:

    There should be fine only for 60 grams. 2.5 grams is just absurd. Better yet - just legalize it.


  5. - Ghost - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 12:28 pm:

    But with a prescription, I can carry several ounces of oxycodone etc. which ahs a higher rate of addiction and abuse then marijuana.

    We need to stop segregating against drugs and acknowlegde we are not really anti-drug. The pharamcy;s are doing fine, we dont need to enfroce laws to protect their monopolies.


  6. - Keyser Soze - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    The most shocking part of the story is that there were so many arrests or citations. Come on, the stuff is defacto legal as it is. Confiscate the pot and let the kids go. I say “kids” because most adults are smart enough not to get caught. A whole lot of tax dollars are wasted on this charade.


  7. - wordslinger - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 12:51 pm:

    Law enforcement has a lot more important work to do. It’s a good start.


  8. - John A Logan - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 1:10 pm:

    Some where in Illinois on a college campus in the next 10 years………

    Campus Police: “Hey, you…..that better not be a cigarette your smoking!”

    Student: “No way man….it’s a joint.”

    Campus Police: “It better be!”


  9. - Ahoy! - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 2:00 pm:

    –Maybe it should be expanded?–

    Yes it should and probably should give police officers less options, under current ordinance they have the option of arrest or ticket, just give the ticket, save the paper work, time and money.


  10. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 2:35 pm:

    Legalization won’t come for another ten years, assuming the stars align properly. It’s not ripe enough, yet, on the federal level for Obama to do anything, but it will, potentially, be in the second half of a second term for the next president. And it really does have to be on a federal level. The weird stuff that can, and will, develop when you’re forced to conduct your business in cash is going to demand a change in federal banking law/regulations that can only occur with legalization. That as much as anything else is going to be the tipping point.


  11. - A guy... - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 2:43 pm:

    Expanding the limit will give Drug Dogs a couple more years of service if they don’t have to be so precise. (snark) Hey, if we’re looking for reasons, why not toss this one in. Decrim is a good step.


  12. - Ghost - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 3:59 pm:

    Some where in Illinois on a college campus in the next 10 years………

    Campus Police: “Hey, you…..that better not be a joint your smoking!”

    Student: “No way man….it’s oxycodone and obitiuates I purchased from a pharmacy after paying a doctor for a faux checkup.”

    Campus Police: “Thats ok, then! so long as we only enrich the pharmacutical industry”


  13. - Grandson of Man - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    I’m hoping that it won’t be long before more states legalize marijuana, or before the national government legalizes it.

    People are at least talking about unfair sentencing, and I hope we as a state and country seriously consider legalizing marijuana and putting it into a model that will harm us less and benefit us more than the horrible failure of the drug war.


  14. - Abraham Froman - Friday, Sep 26, 14 @ 4:09 pm:

    ======Legalization won’t come for another ten years, assuming the stars align properly. It’s not ripe enough, yet, on the federal level for Obama to do anything,=========

    Federal change within 2 or 3 years for banking and tax code 280-E. Federal rescheduling of cannabis could be 5 years or lame duck of Obama admin. 10 years most states will have legalized but local options will allow for them to outlaw to varying degrees like we have dry counties now.


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