Oak Park village board approves teen drug use ordinance

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By Anna Lothson

Staff Reporter

Following initial approval in March, the Oak Park village board gave final approval to a set of policies related to penalties for minors possessing tobacco, attending drinking parties, or having less than 30 grams of cannabis on their person.

The recommendations came from the parent group IMPACT and allows for alternative penalties for minor drug and alcohol offenses. Under the new ordinance, cannabis possession would get teens a ticket instead of being arrested, limiting it to misdemeanor status and keeping it off their record.

The new policy also imposes fines for possessing tobacco, instead of just for purchasing it. The ordinance prohibits hosting, condoning, or failing to take reasonable steps to prevent parties and gatherings that involve underage drinking or illicit drug use.

Email: anna@oakpark.com Twitter: @AnnaLothson

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KR from Oak Park  

Posted: June 12th, 2012 5:29 PM

You people amaze me. Do you know what happens when kids have felony drug charges on their records? Or formal drug charges? They cannot EVER get a student loan through the government for college education. Clearly the old way isn't working. Why NOT try something new? Deterrence clearly is the goal here. Parents clearly aren't doing enough, so maybe a ticket or two could help with some likely needed attention without screwing their futures up forever.

O from Oak APrk  

Posted: June 12th, 2012 8:55 AM

Let's kill (literally) two birds with one stone: put the gun rights advocates, especially the out-of-towners that inhabit this board when the topic comes up, in the McDonald's parking lot that everybody is so sure exists. The gun nuts can keep law and order, and shoot the junkies.

wrong across the board.  

Posted: June 12th, 2012 12:03 AM

Does anyone try to know what they're talking about before posting? Without a local ordinance on this it would be a state violation meaning if some cops actually feel inclined, your kid could be arrested and brought to the station for smoking underage etc. A local ordinance allows the village to determine the penalty otherwise no judge in Cook County wants to waste time hearing your kid got caught with a dime bag. He's happier it's not a tec 9 instead and that case will be thrown out quickly.


Posted: June 9th, 2012 3:25 PM

this wont make much of a difference on drug usage, just less work for the OPPD

Q from Oak Park  

Posted: June 9th, 2012 1:47 AM

Sun Times Reader from Oak Park, the W.J. does not have reporters who ask questions, or do anything more then just take statements and publish them. They are not reporters gathering as many facts as possible to let the community know what is going on. It's expensive to get people who do real reporting. Keep up for the news you want with either the Sun Times or the Tribune.


Posted: June 8th, 2012 10:21 PM

The best way to increase drug use is to take away any real punishment for having drugs. It's ironic that the village is so strict on guns yet so soft on drugs... Don't they know that all the drug money goes into buying guns? It seems like a win win for the village as they obviously don't really care about drug use and related crime, but if some does get busted they get paid. How do they intend to address the McDonalds drug market in the Madison road diet/beautification plan?

Permission Granted by VOP from OP  

Posted: June 8th, 2012 10:11 PM

The Board is apparently in favor of drugs, or perhaps on drugs themselves. It would explain so much! Did you take a vote on what to do with kids who overdose on heroin that is purchased at open air drug markets like the McDonalds parking lot? Maybe a BIG ticket for that? Apparently the Board can't be bothered to actually enforce the law.

Totally Dude!  

Posted: June 8th, 2012 11:37 AM

Typical Oak Park. Going on this logic, why not consider the diversity of economic groups and have different price tickets depending on income level. Seems like all the rich kids are going to be laughing and all the poorer kids are going to turn to crime to support not only their drugs, but tickets. Silly!

Sun Times Reader from Oak Park  

Posted: June 6th, 2012 11:39 AM

I was confused on reading this ordinance was backed by IMPACT, the same group that pushed for the closed campus and drug testing at OPRF. Turns out there's more to it than issuing tickets. The Sun Times gives a much better overview. For one, it apparently only applies to first time offenders. And the offender (and his parents) appear before an administrative law judge and could be sentenced to community service or an intervention program in addition to a fine. Poor coverage WJ.


Posted: June 6th, 2012 11:04 AM

The word "ordinance" could be striken from that headline without significant loss of meaning.


Posted: June 6th, 2012 7:39 AM

Oh the kids are gonna love this!!

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