Elected officials in Galesburg have got a lot of attention recently as they try to change the city’s law on marijuana.
“Because its drugs we’re talking about I don’t know people have reefer madness or something,” says Seventh Ward Alderman Jeremy Karlin.
Roughly 12 months ago Karlin introduced legislation that would give police officers the option to write a ticket to anyone caught carrying less than two and half grams of cannabis. Right now officers are required to arrest anyone with pot – resulting in long booking sessions and no shortage of paperwork.
“We’re losing a key opportunity,” says Mayor Sal Garza.
Karlin’s proposal was recently approved by a four to three city council vote, only to be vetoed by Garza.
“All the consideration were given to streamlining the law enforcement system, but we forgot about the kids,” says Garza.
Garza wants to amend the ordinance by adding a requirement that any kid under the age of 17 caught possessing pot would be sent to a drug intervention program.
While Garza and Karlin aren’t in exact lock-step, they’re both confident they’ll reach an agreement.
“Eventually this will go through. Either as an override of the mayor’s veto or perhaps as the ordinance in a different form,” says Karlin.
The Galesburg city council will hold a vote on whether or not to override the mayor’s veto next week. In order to do that, five out of the council’s seven members must vote in favor of the proposed ordinance.