It’s not often that I have something nice to say about government in neighboring Chicago Heights.  Too much patronage for my tastes.

But this is good news:

In Chicago Heights, getting caught with an “onion” of pot can get you a ticket. Yes, like a parking ticket.

The far south suburb this week became the latest to adopt an ordinance giving options to cops who find a roach in an ashtray.

In most cases—when the cop doesn’t tell you to just throw the stuff in the sewer—officers spend hours on arrests. There’s fingerprinting and paperwork, and then the officer has to go to court when you visit the judge.

A judge will typically make first-timers go to drug school, and eventually the case is dropped. It’s a lot of work for a few dried-up leaves.

But under the ordinance, 30 grams or less of pot (an onion is about 28 grams, or one ounce, enough for several joints) will yield a ticket and a $250 to $750 fine that won’t show up in a criminal record.

The best news of all, the city gets to keep the cash.

This is a huge step in the right direction.  Cheers for Chicago Heights.  I’ve heard too many police officers complain about all the ridiculous arrests they have to make for small drug possessions.  Worse yet, we create real criminals by introducing so many to the prison system.

Drugs are first and foremost a medical issue, not a legal issue.  We need to remember that, and treat them as such.