Today the City of Chicago passed an ordinance to reduce penalties for possession of marijuana. Instead of being arrested or saddled with a criminal record, adults who merely possess 15 grams or less can be fined $250-$500 and may be required to perform up to 10 hours of community service. Additional penalties may apply in certain situations.
This comes on the heels a marijuana decrim bill passed on June 13 in Rhode Island. Instead of a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and/or a fine of $200-$500, possession of up to one ounce of marijuana will be penalized with a civil fine of $150 in most cases.
To date, fifteen states and numerous local jurisdictions nationwide have removed criminal penalties for low-level marijuana possession.
"It’s heartening that there’s at least one area of Big Government in America – the Marijuana Prohibition – that is shrinking rather than expanding," said Geoffrey Neale, Chair of the National Libertarian Party. "This will spare thousands of non-violent offenders from having a criminal record, from losing their jobs, and from being swept away from their loved ones to go to jail or prison. It will also reduce crime in the United States and in countries like Mexico which is suffering under a siege of violence resulting from America’s Drug Prohibition."
Formed in 1971, the Libertarian Party is the only political party in America that has consistently and unapologetically opposed the War on Marijuana and the War on Drugs.
Libertarian presidential nominee Governor Gary Johnson, along with Libertarian candidates across the country, call for immediately ending the Marijuana Prohibition.
"We’re two steps closer to the day when American politicians must end the failed and dangerous Drug Prohibition once and for all – and allow peace, safety, personal freedom and personal responsibility to reign instead," said Neale.