Preckwinkle wants end to low-level marijuana arrests

July 28, 2011

The Associated Press

AP Photo, M. Spencer Green
Last month, Preckwinkle declared the war on drugs has failed.

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle is asking Chicago's police superintendent to stop making arrests for low-level marijuana possession. 

Preckwinkle says judges generally dismiss those charges involving very modest amounts of illicit drugs. Speaking Wednesday, Preckwinkle said arresting people for possessing small amounts of marijuana clogs up Cook County Jail.

According to county officials, it costs $142 a day for each inmate housed at the jail. She proposes directing money toward education and drug treatment. 

Preckwinkle says the city of Chicago is the principal driver of the jail's population. She says she has yet to get a response from Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

Last month, Preckwinkle declared the war on drugs has failed.