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Quinn Expresses Doubt About Ending Some Marijuana Arrests

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Photo Of Marijuana Plants. (AP Photo)

Photo Of Marijuana Plants. (AP Photo)

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CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago area leaders are considering a new approach to the War on Drugs, but the State of Illinois still a distance from buying in.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s John Cody reports, Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle told a public rally in June that the War on Drugs was a failed effort, clogging up courts with cases that are often dismissed in the case of marijuana possession.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780′s John Cody reports


Preckwinkle has recommended an end to arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana, but Gov. Pat Quinn expresses some reservations.

“I don’t know, I’d have to look at that. I’d probably have to study that, but you know, the law is the law,” he said.

Police Supt. Garry McCarthy has told WBBM Newsradio 780 Political Editor Craig Dellimore that he is considering the possibility of police issuing tickets, instead of making arrests, for low-level marijuana arrests.

The Cook County Board approved an ordinance decriminalizing possession of small amounts of marijuana back in 2009. That measure allows county Sheriff’s Police to issue a $200 ticket for people caught with 10 grams or less of marijuana in unincorporated Cook County.

But statewide, even measures to legalize medicinal marijuana have repeatedly failed despite strong support from some lawmakers.

In May, a bill calling for a three-year pilot program to legalize marijuana possession and use by those suffering from certain diseases and disorders failed in the state House, receiving only 53 of the 60 required votes.

The vote against medical marijuana came despite reports of growing support for the bill, even from House Republican Leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego).

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