After receiving approval during the City Council’s first meeting of 2014, the Galesburg Police Department began enforcing the ordinance on January 16th of this year.
Since that time, two citations have been given, one of which came from an Amtrak search, the other resulting from an aggravated battery report.
Included in the City’s ordinance are options to be used at an officer’s discretion such as a fine, citation, or a summons to appear before a judge.
Lieutenant Russell Idle handles much of the data tracking for the Galesburg Police Department. He tells WGIL the severe cold is largely to blame for the low number of citations.
“We’ve been spending a large amount of our time dealing with life-safety issues: the snow, everything,” Idle said. “When you have an increase in that kind of thing, as a natural result, enforcement activity…is going to decrease, because the officers are more busy worrying about the safety of the public.”
Over the course of the month the ordinance has been enforced, about 600-dollars in revenue has been gained.
The ordinance requires that in order to qualify for a citation, 2.5 grams of cannabis or fewer must be in an individual’s possession.
Idle says similar rules to larger amounts of cannabis apply, meaning police have to establish when someone possesses the substance.
He says he anticipates fewer arrests resulting from the City’s ordinance.