Chicago decriminalizes small amounts of marijuana

Pretty soon people in Chicago will be able to smoke marijuana without getting arrested.

That’s because Chicago has a pot problem, but not the way you might think.

'Everybody knew the jig was up. The only people that were paying for it were the taxpayers,' Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago said,

Emanuel and the vast majority of the city council agree.

Police are spending too much time making petty pot possession arrests that end without punishment.

Chicago City Councilman, Danny Solis said, 'People get arrested, there's paperwork that gets filed where people go to court and then 9 out of 10 of these arrests get thrown out."

Chicago City Councilman John Pope added, "I`ve spoken to at least 12 officers since last week who have said it's about time. This will free us up to really catch the bad guys." 

Beginning in mid-August, police will issue tickets not arrests for those caught with 15 grams or less of marijuana. Fines would range from $250-$500.

But, people would still be arrested if they're under the age of 17, if they smoke pot in public, carry it in a park or on school grounds.

There were only three aldermen who voted against it. 

Chicago City Councilman Roberto Maldonado was one of those three. Maldonado said, "Aren't you sending the mixed message that it's equally okay to light up the cigarettes because why would you be carrying marijuana in the first place? Duh!" 

The city estimates the new law could save the city $7 million a year in revenue.

So how many of you are packing your bags and headed to Chi-Town or should we say 'High-Town?'