That cute little ornamental roach clip you bought on Etsy so you don’t burn your fingers smoking the last bit of your marijuana cigarette? Until recently in Illinois, possessing it could have gotten you a year in jail and a $500 fine.

The state last year revised its drug paraphernalia law so that if you were arrested for possession of 10 grams or less of cannabis, the penalty for the related paraphernalia charge would limited to a fine of between $100 and $200.

The Evanston City Council’s Human Services Committee is scheduled Monday to vote on a similar change in the city code that would reduce paraphernalia penalties to match the new state law.

City Attorney Grant Farrar says the City of Chicago and Cook County have already amended their codes to make the same change.

The downgrading the paraphernalia charge from a misdemeanor to a civil law violation also means the cases will be able to be heard in the city’s administratie adjudication system rather than being sent to Skokie district court.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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