request
X

FREE CONSULTATION

Thank you for your interest in The Law Offices of Andrew M. Weisberg. Please fill out the form below and we will be in touch soon
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

*Indicates Required Fields

bbb-rating

Call Today for a FREE CONSULTATION

SE HABLA ESPAÑOL

(773) 908-9811

AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS

menu

X

request

(773) 908-9811

AVAILABLE 24 HOURS/7 DAYS

FOLLOW US:

Aggressive. Experienced.

Chicago Criminal Defense Attorney
Former Cook County Felony Prosecutor

blog_homeBlog Home

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Pushes for Marijuana Decriminalization

The harsh penalties for possession of marijuana in Illinois have recently come under fire for a number of reasons. Many believe that charging individuals for misdemeanor marijuana possession, which is the leading arrest category in Chicago, is a waste of police time and tax dollars. Across the country, attitudes towards marijuana are shifting in favor of decriminalization or, in the cases of Colorado and Washington, legalization. Amidst these changing attitudes and the controversy over disproportionate drug crime sentencing, Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel is voicing his support for the decriminalization of marijuana in Illinois.

 

Mayor Emanuel, who rose to political prominence as the White House chief of staff under President Obama, testified before the Illinois General Assembly about potentially removing the state’s strict pot ban. He told the Chicago Tribune that he believes it’s time “to free up our criminal justice system to address or real public safety challenges” and that decriminalizing marijuana would not only “save time and money” but would also “change people’s lives.” Emanuel’s statement seems to allude to the significant percentage of criminal offenders who are currently serving lengthy sentences in overcrowded prisons for non-violent drug crimes. According to the Federal Bureau of Prisons, almost half of all US prisoners are serving a sentence for drug offenses.

 

Emanuel also spoke about the impact a criminal conviction for possession of marijuana can have on the rest of a person’s life. Even though the crime is a misdemeanor, having a criminal record at all can significantly impact a person’s ability to go to college, get a good job, or even find a place to live. There is significant evidence that there is a huge racial disparity in arrests and convictions for drug crimes, and many of the people who find themselves facing these convictions already face major institutional barriers in creating a better life.

 

Where Illinois and the Rest of the Country Currently Stands on Marijuana

 

, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Pushes for Marijuana DecriminalizationEmanuel’s high-profile push for the decriminalization of marijuana may signal a change in the wind for the state. Illinois has already made some small changes and last year became the twentieth state to legalize medicinal marijuana. However, even regulations on medicinal marijuana remain tight, and Governor Pat Quinn said that he was willing to sign the bill legalizing medical marijuana because it was “so tightly and properly drafted.” 23 states (including Illinois) and the District of Columbia have now made medical marijuana legal.

 

If Illinois does decriminalize marijuana, it will join DC and 17 states that have already done so. As mentioned above, Colorado and Washington are the only states that have actually legalized recreational marijuana, but Oregon, California, Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, and DC are beginning to look as though they will all pass legalization initiatives in the next several years.

 

Illinois residents should keep in mind that while attitudes are shifting in our state and nationwide, and while there will hopefully come a time when our states does decriminalize cannabis, Illinois still has some of the toughest marijuana possession restrictions and penalties in the country. If you’re charged with a misdemeanor for the possession of a small amount of marijuana, make sure that you contact a drug crimes attorney as soon as possible and fight to have the charge dropped. You don’t want a conviction negatively affecting the rest of your life.

 

About the Author:

Andrew M. Weisberg is a former felony prosecutor who now serves as a defense attorney in the greater Chicago area. He has extensive experience in handling all types of criminal cases, from sex offenses and violent crimes to theft-related crimes and domestic violence.

 

Our Blog

Fighting With Your Roommate? It Can Lead to IL Domestic Battery

Domestic Battery | Domestic Violence

When police are called to the scene of two people fighting, there are several possible scenarios that can occur after that point. If the two people live in the same household, there is a chance that the crime of domestic battery can be charged.

When most people think of domestic battery charges, they imagine it’s something that a person can be charged with if they fight with the spouse or significant other – not simply a person that’s your roommate.

[...]

How Do You Legally Transport Marijuana in Illinois?

Drug Crimes | Drug Possession | Marijuana

Illinois is one of the states that has legalized marijuana, both recreationally and medicinally. While this makes many Illinois residents happy, it’s important to realize that this legalization isn’t a free pass. You can’t do anything you want with marijuana anywhere you please just because you’re over 21.

In fact, there are some really strict rules about marijuana in the state, including how to transport it. If you’re caught violating these rules, then you can face criminal penalties – even

[...]
Law Offices of Andrew Weisberg