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Preckwinkle to McCarthy: Ease Up on Pot Arrests

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Preckwinkle to McCarthy: Ease Up on Pot Arrests
Preckwinkle to McCarthy: Ease Up on Pot Arrests

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Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle announced Wednesday that she has asked Chicago police Supt. Garry McCarthy to consider not arresting people for low-level drug crimes.

Preckwinkle has a history of being in opposition to low-level drug arrests, objecting to the financial burden incarceration has on tax-payers and the space that low-level drug offenders take up while in jail.

In her discussion with McCarthy, Preckwinkle suggested that although drug possession may be in violation of the law, judges routinely and almost universally dismiss low-level drug charges. She hopes that police will stop arresting these people who clog up jails and often find their cases dismissed, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune.

Preckwinkle recently spoke in support of a rally outside of the James R. Thompson Center in the Loop, where organizers and advocates declared America's 40-year "war on drugs" a failure.

She has called for more treatment and less punishment for low-level offenders, reiterating points she had made in statements during her campaign.

Although McCarthy's to Preckwinkle's request is not officially known, the superintendent has said that he understands Preckwinkle's and like-minded individuals' concerns over the drug enforcement issue.

In an inteview with the Chicago Tribune, a McCarthy spokesperson said that police were reviewing the possibility of enforcement action other than physical arrest for certain cannabis offenses.

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