Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel on Tuesday urged Illinois lawmakers to decriminalize the possession of less than 15 grams of marijuana. He also pushed for a statewide penalty reduction from felony to misdemeanor for those caught with 1 gram or less of a controlled substance.
“It doesn’t make sense that one arrest for a very small amount of a controlled substance can lead to a lifetime of struggles, sending people in and out of prison and putting up barriers to get a job or finding a place to live. We need action from Springfield,” Emanuel said in a statement, per the Chicago Tribune.
The mayor testified Tuesday at a legislative hearing before the House-Senate Joint Criminal Reform Committee, which is looking for ways to ease overcrowding in the state’s prisons and jails and to reduce racial disparities in sentencing which disproportionately affect blacks and Latinos.
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