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Marijuana arrests plummet in Illinois' 5 largest suburbs

Illinois police chiefs association president Steven Stelter says Illinois' overall mindset has changed toward the drug
Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
marijuana farm plant leaves, cannabis for medical purposes in America, the United States and Canada. Legalization of the healing properties of marijuana plants

ILLINOIS (AP) -- Marijuana arrests dropped significantly in Chicago's largest suburbs, a change many say is caused by decriminalization and a change of attitude toward the drug. 

Arrests for marijuana-related crimes plummeted by a range of 63% and roughly 80% from 2015 to 2018 in the five largest suburbs — Aurora, Naperville, Elgin, Joliet and Waukegan. 

The Aurora Beacon-News reports that a major reason for the decline in arrests is a 2016 change in state law that moved to issue citations instead of arrests for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Illinois police chiefs association president Steven Stelter says Illinois' overall mindset has changed toward the drug.  

COLLINSVILLE, Ill. - In just six days, recreational marijuana will become legal in Illinois. The new law takes effect Jan. 1, and Illinois will be the 11th state to allow it. So far in the Metro East, only one dispensary, Illinois Supply & Provisions in Collinsville, has an adult-use cannabis license.

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