People tend to make a connection between outdoor music festivals and drug use. It’s something that happens, and little can be done to stop it. Those going to this year’s Lollapalooza festival in Chicago may be more likely to see why that conclusion is drawn, after passing of new legislation by Mayor Rahm Emanuel in regards to Marijuana laws.
Those who are found to possess 15 grams or less of marijuana will just be ticketed starting on August 4th, which is the halfway point of Chicago’s biggest music festival. The tickets range between $250 and $500 for first time offenders, and for those who are ticketed again in the next 30 days are automatically hit with a $500 fine. Mayor Emanuel stressed that this is NOT decriminalization, and is in fact intended to be a deterent. He says the point is to have more people punished by the law, while giving police officers more time on the streets and conserving space in Chicago prisons.
A word for the wise is that the new legislation only applies to possession. Those found smoking marijuana in public or caught possessing without a valid ID or under the age of 17 will still be eligible for prosecution.