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No, you shouldn't be ticketed for smoking weed in your own backyard or on your balcony in Chicago once recreational cannabis becomes legal in Illinois next year, the city's mayor and police said.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot and Interim Police Supt. Charlie Beck issued a joint statement Thursday saying that while state law prohibits cannabis consumption in any "public place," which is defined as "anywhere you can be observed by others in the public," CPD believes someone using marijuana "in their own backyard or balcony poses no direct threat to public safety."
"Any characterization to the contrary is simply wrong," the statement read.
"Over the past several months and throughout December, all 13,000 of Chicago's police officers are being trained on the reformed cannabis enforcement laws, including how they should use discretion of their enforcement powers to educate residents on the new legalization laws, rather than issuing tickets as a default response."
The statement follows a video from the city's police department detailing “things you should know” as recreational cannabis is legalized Jan. 1. The video, shared Wednesday, quickly garnered hundreds of comments and shares with more than 48,000 views by Thursday morning.
The video detailed things like how much marijuana can you have, where can you smoke, what happens if you're caught violating the rules and more. Click here for more.