(Tribune illustration / April 9, 2012)

Palos Hills is working out details to handle arrests for small amounts of marijuana locally to save police time and to keep fines for the city.

City Attorney George Pappas told the City Council last week that several other non-home-rule municipalities process arrests for 30 grams or less of marijuana and that his research showed the city could handle the tickets in Saturday court.

"I'm of the opinion we can do it here if the city council wants to do it," said Pappas.

He was to draft an ordinance for the local arrests, which the council is expected to discuss Thursday in a Committee-of-the-Whole meeting.

Police Chief Paul Madigan said sending the arrests to Bridgeview Courthouse was unproductive for the city.

"Right now, we're taking a police officer off the street to process people for marijuana," Madigan said. "There's no down time for the [local] process."

Ald. Joe Marrotta asked if the fines would increase for repeat offenders, and Madigan agreed they would. The council wanted Madigan to set the fines, which will be discussed along with the proposed ordinance.

City officials have said ticket revenue would go to the city, rather than the courthouse, if processed locally.