Chicago Decriminalizes Marijuana; Still Expensive to Get Caught With It

As we all recovered from our Pride Weekend hangovers, BlackBook Senior Editor Tyler Coates posted an important announcement for Chicago residents: as of July 1st, anyone who ends up “Coatesing” in a taxi will have to pay a $50 cleanup fee. Those who have a problem holding their liquor and somehow cannot muster the coherence and / or good form to at least tell the cab driver carting your inebriated self to pull over, lucky for you, it is now slightly less risky to keep one particular nausea suppressant on hand: good old Mary Jane.

Today, the Chicago City Council voted overwhelmingly (43-3) to pass a resolution decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. And by "small amounts," they mean anything less than 15 grams. Instead of risking jail time and a misdemeanor charge, those caught possessing will be handed a $250-500 ticket (by comparison, as Chuck Sudo pointed out, 20 grams of middle-of-the-road stuff will cost you about $20 in the suburbs, according to which is still a lot of money so it’s a good idea to, you know, not be stupid about this. Also, "openly" smoking or being caught in possession around a park or school will still get you arrested. 

So basically, people partying in the Windy City this summer (and there will be a lot of you, especially with Pitchfork and Lollapalooza coming up)… don’t be idiots, and please tip your cab drivers. 

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