In first weekend, Chicago police write up 11 weed tickets

August 6, 2012

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In their first weekend with the power to write tickets for low-level marijuana possession, Chicago police officers wrote just a handful of the citations.

Police issued 11 of the new weed citations, according to department spokesperson Melissa Stratton, in about a third of the police districts, including some on the North, South and Near West sides.

The recipients avoided arrest, but will have to pay a fine of at least $250.

There are a lot of situations where police are still supposed to make an arrest for marijuana.

This new ordinance doesn’t apply to school or park grounds, so any pot-possessing Lollapalooza Festival-goers were still subject to arrest. Two people in the festival area did get busted for cannabis possession, according to the police.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel backed the ticket ordinance because he said it would free up officers to focus on more serious crimes.

Still, the process of handing out these tickets is not as simple as a traffic citation. It involves quite a bit of paperwork and the confiscated weed has to be tested at police stations—to make sure it is actually weed.