Friday, June 15, 2012

Chicago's doobie brothers: Rahm 'n' Danny decriminalize reefer!

Posted By on 06.15.12 at 01:51 PM

Torben_Hansen.jpg
  • Torben Hansen
I was watching the NBA finals—Miami versus OKC—when the call came in from my man Mick Dumke.

"You're gonna have to give Mayor Rahm some love," he said. "He did something you want him to do."

"What—he stepped down as mayor and named Karen Lewis as his replacement?"

"No, he's calling for the decriminalization of pot . . ."

"I don't believe you."

"It's true—I just got a confirmation from someone in City Hall."

A few minutes later, Mick called back with more specifics.

Apparently, Emanuel was about to issue a press release announcing his intentions to sign on to an ordinance—introduced months ago by Alderman Danny Solis—that would give police the option of writing a ticket for small amounts of marijuana possession. As opposed to hauling the marijuana possessor off to jail, which is, at the moment, our incredibly self-destructive policy.

Furthermore, Mick got a confirmation from none other than Alderman Solis himself, reached by cell phone while he, the alderman, was walking his dog.

Yo, Danny—make sure you pick up. If you don't—that's also a ticketable offense.

Sure enough, our sister paper, the Sun-Times, followed Mick's post with their own front-page version under the headline: "Rahm stirs the pot."

The Sun-Times added a few great details, like my personal favorite: "Emanuel chose to wade in on the hot-button issue while in Prague for his daughter's Bat Mitzvah. That allows him to avoid questions about whether marijuana tickets would send the wrong message to kids about a drug that some consider a 'gateway' to more dangerous substances."

I’ll bet you dinner on the town—you pick the place—that neither the mayor nor anybody in his inner circle believes that marijuana's a "gateway" to anything other than the munchies.

In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Mayor Emanuel did his own fair share of ticketable offending, if you dig what I mean, back in his glory days at good ol' New Trier. And look how he turned out.

In other words, Mayor Emanuel—stop being such a wuss on this issue!

As Mick and I have chronicled before, the reason this is so important is 'cause marijuana arrests are racially biased and a big-time waste of time, money, and lives.

But I guess Mick's right. If Mayor Emanuel does something right, I've got to give him credit.

So . . .

Even though the ordinance doesn't go far enough—legalize the stuff already!

And even though Mayor Emanuel probably only did it to snatch the issue from Cook County Board president Toni Preckwinkle . . .

And even though it really was incredibly wimpy for him to fly off to Prague before releasing the press release . . .

And even though he only got the stones to take this stand after New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg—his personal hero—took it first . . .

And even though the ordinance allows police to continue arresting people for small amounts of possession . . .

This is an important first step toward saner marijuana laws.

Which means it's time for me to once again say something nice about our mayor.

So here goes . . .

Ugh, uhm, uh . . .

Nice job, Mayor Emanuel.

And mazel tov on that bat mitzvah.

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