Landmark Skybox

Breeze-Courier | Taylorville, IL
The Weather Network
Advanced Search
search sponsored by


LOGIN | SUBSCRIBE




KMRM

home : news : state news free February 16, 2020

12/28/2019 10:49:00 AM
Marijuana arrests plummet in Illinois' 5 largest suburbs

AURORA, Ill. (AP) — Marijuana arrests dropped significantly in Chicago’s largest suburbs, a change many say is caused by decriminalization and a change of attitude toward the drug.

Although recreational marijuana will be legalized in Illinois starting Jan. 1, suburban police were already making far fewer arrests for crimes such as possession and manufacture of cannabis years before lawmakers signed off on legalization, police department data shows.

Arrests for marijuana-related crimes plummeted by a range of 63% and roughly 80% from 2015 to 2018 in the five largest suburbs — Aurora, Naperville, Elgin, Joliet and Waukegan.

The state had deemed most of these communities as neighborhoods with high numbers of such arrests, the Aurora Beacon-News  reported. The numbers through October are expected to show another decrease in 2019.

A major reason for the decline in arrests is a 2016 change in state law that moved to issue citations instead of arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

But another contributing factor is the changing of attitudes toward marijuana and a shift in law enforcement’s priorities well before state lawmakers moved to legalize it in May, some authorities said.

Steven Stelter, president of the Illinois Association of Chiefs of Police, said the change in the law in 2016 made it more challenging for police to do their jobs.

“We arrest somebody for marijuana, and the courts just throw it out because they look at it as just a real minor offense,” he said.

Overall, the mindset in Illinois has changed since the drug was legalized elsewhere, Stelter said, noting that he and his agency oppose marijuana legalization.

“The real mindset is, what’s the big deal?” he said.

Kenny Myles can attest to the shift in attitude.

In 2007, a northwest suburban police department arrested Myles and charged him with possession of seven grams of marijuana, which is a misdemeanor, and with manufacture with intent to deliver of more than 200 grams, a felony, he said.

But about three years later, Chicago police caught Myles smoking weed and opted not to pursue charges, he said.

“I can tell the attitude as a whole community has changed,” he said. “Me, having my run-ins, I’m still a little bit more shy to do certain things. But I do see it shifting.”

In Joliet, arrests dropped from 233 in 2015 to 49 in 2018, and in Elgin they dropped from 252 to 66 over the same period, according to numbers provided by each city’s police department.

Aurora saw a decline from 659 in 2015 to 202 in 2018, police department data indicates. In Waukegan, they dropped from 201 to 74 during the same years.

Naperville’s marijuana arrests dropped to 42 in 2018 from 260 in 2015.

“There hasn’t been a concentrated effort to sit there and look at cannabis differently,” Joliet Sgt. Christopher Botzum said. “It’s just applying what the law states.”





Article Comment Submission Form
Please feel free to submit your comments.

If you are looking for the SPEAK OUT submission form, you can find it by clicking here: Speak Out Form


Article comments are not posted immediately to the Web site. Each submission must be approved by the Web site editor, who may edit content for appropriateness. There may be a delay of 24-48 hours for any submission while the web site editor reviews and approves it.

NOTE: All information on this form is required. Your telephone number and email address will not be displayed or shared.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Required
Last Name:
Required
Telephone:
Required
Email:
Required
Comment:
Required
Passcode:
Required
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.
   










Trinity Dodge Fixed
Dr Paul The Dentist
NewsWebPagesOpinionPeopleObituariesAg & BusinessSportsContact UsLife
Subscriptions | Username & Password Reminder | Change Password | Life

Breeze-Courier & Printing | 212 S Main St. Taylorville, IL 62568 | (217) 824-2233 |
website@breezecourier.com

© Copyright 2014 Breeze-Courier & Printing. All Rights Reserved.
Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Breeze-Courier & Printing.

Software © 1998-2020 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved