By Emily Bouroudjian
Many students at Loyola University Chicago support the idea of decriminalizing the possession of 10 grams or less of marijuana.
Alderman Daniel Solis, of the 25th ward, recently introduced the Marijuana Ticketing Ordinance at a Chicago City Council meeting. The reason behind this ordinance is to raise revenue for the city and to have police focus their time on more serious crime matters.
” I really like the idea of having the police focus on more serious things” said Jamie McKinney, 19, a sophomore theater major. “Why waste money on someone for having pot?”
If the plan is passed, the consequences will be brought down drastically. As of now, the penalty for having marijuana in your possession is being charged of a misdemeanor which could lead up to six months of jail time and a fine of $1,500. With the plan approved, the penalty will be brought down to having a fine of $200 and up to 10 hours of community service.
Mayor Rahm Emanuel has yet to decide whether he supports the idea, and his backing is crucial to whether the plan moves forward.
Meanwhile, college students favor the idea.
” This is a good idea for small amounts of marijuana, there should be a penalty but it’s not too harsh so it’s good” said Callie Short, 19, a Loyola psychology major.
Yet some students, while agreeing with the new plan, feel that it might be too lenient.
“I would rather them pay a huge fine then put them in jail, the taxpayers shouldn’t spend money to house people in jail for a short amount of time on a dumb rule,” said Kara Dippner, 22, a senior psychology major.
Bridget Danahy, 19, a sophomore theater and AD/PR major agreed.
“They should pay us, not us pay for them. The fine should be a bit higher.”
There has been a general consensus that this will benefit everyone in more ways than one.
“ People are gonna do it anyways,” said Alyssa Jutovsky, 19, a theater and pre-law major. “It will be safer if people don’t have to be shady about having it in their possession.”