In Cook County, Illinois, the state attorney has proclaimed that they are changing their ways when it comes to prosecuting low-level drug offenses, and those will include the dismissal of cannabis cases that are misdemeanors.
“If someone is caught with a misdemeanor amount of marijuana, the state’s attorney’s office will no longer prosecute that case,” Cook County office spokesperson Sally Daly shared.
Cook County to Dismiss Minor Cannabis Cases
More specifically, the program will cover offenders with less than three citations. The Cook County state attorney’s office says these changes will be effective as of 10:15am on Monday, April 20th. Oh? 4/20! We really hope that isn’t a coincidence. Their spokesperson also shared that they will begin to address the prosecution issues on other drugs such as cocaine, heroin and ecstasy as part of the overhaul on drug arrests and convictions.
Their admirable program is an attempt at an alternative to diverting nonviolent, repeat drug offenders within our criminal justice system.
The proposed changes will not affect currently pending cases. As Daly shared
“We potentially could ask for treatment for those cases,” Daly said. “Currently, our big emphasis is pushing toward treatment.”
It looks like the rest of America can take a valuable lesson from Cook County’s new program aimed at turning drug addiction into a social issue, and not remaining the circular set up for failure that the current system is.