UPDATED: 5:08 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Cook County prosecutors announced major changes in how they prosecute low-level drug cases, including sending more nonviolent drug offenders to treatment, rather than prison.READ MORE: Investigators Raid Three Locations Of Parlor Pizza Restaurant
Beginning immediately misdemeanor cases for possession of under 30 grams of cannabis will be dismissed as long as the person caught is nonviolent and has fewer than three arrests or citations.
Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez says right now, Class 4 felony drug possession cases make up about one quarter of the county’s felony cases.
Additionally more than 40 people a day are arrested on misdemeanor drug cases.
She believes the money spent on prosecution would be better spent on drug treatment and rehabilitation programs.
“Over the past few decades, it has become clear that criminal justice system has allocated a disproportionate amount of its finite resources to addressing the public health issue of drug use and addiction and I believe that we have to take steps to limit the number of individuals who become involved in the system for low-level, non-violent crimes,” Alvarez said.