Evanston’s mayor has called for issuing tickets for possession of small amounts of marijuana rather than following state law that leaves violators with a criminal record. What do you think?
Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now. More by Bill Smith
Yes, our laws are archaic. I've been an occasional user for 40 years and am a high-achieving, well-educated professional. Hard liquor is far worse. Yet, we're saddling people with criminal records for it. We've forgotten the lessons learned from Prohibition and the disastrous consequences that followed it.
It's about time we modify the penalties. Leaving teenagers with records and forcing many to risk college admissions is not a useful method to teach our youth to make better choices.
The laws are fine as is
1. The Evanston Police can already write tickets to anyone for the amounts listed in the article. Read the city code.
2. Possession of ANY amount of ILLEGAL drugs directly contributes to the violent crimes committed in the US and Mexico (among other countries) where profits are fought for in the drug market.
3. Juveniles (Under 18 years of age) do not carry "histories" that are available to employers for committing the offense of having 10 grams or less of cannabis.
Some readers of the story about the mayor, especially the pot smoking, cloudy judgment guy "who has been smoking pot for forty years and is high functioning and well educated" grin with glee at the thought of our society having more dope smoking "freedoms." That "hard liquor is far worse" is not a relevant comment, we all know that it is "far worse."
I'm surprised our "mayor" didn't just sit down with the Chief of Police and say "listen dude, I would like you to stop using State criminal statutes when you catch a young person carrying 9/10ths of a gram, and instead, I want you to issue him/her a ticket, as already provided for by Evanston Civil Code," but instead, she holds a press conference and instructs the City Attorney to draft another "ordinance."
What's wrong with simply telling our youth among us "if you get caught smoking pot, which is illegal, you're going to get prosecuted, you may go to jail, you may have stains on your record, you may not be able to get the exact job you want, and worst of all, you'll get your butt kicked when your dad gets home." Maybe deterring pot smoking early on will enable our children to avoid becoming "40 year dope smoking, high functioning and well educated" still engaging in illegal activities as adults.
Leave a comment