Earlier today, the Chicago City Council voted to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana for personal possession. The one sided final vote was 43-3, which will allow Chicago Police the ability to write possession citations as early as this July. Citations will be written with police discretion ranging from $250 to $500, for the personal possession of 15 grams of marijuana or less. This legislation will mean the majority of the 20,000+ people arrested every year in Chicago for personal possession of marijuana will avoid arrest and prosecution. This will free up valuable police resources, allowing them to address more violent criminals. This vote comes just in time, as Chicago is facing record high murder rates for 2012, and has been forced to bring in outside help to curb rising murder rates within the Windy City. Read more about the new legislation here.