The Cook County State's Attorney's office announced that they will no longer prosecute low-level drug offenses, and will instead redirect those offenders to drug treatment, the Chicago Tribune reports. Citing the ACLU study "The War on Marijuana in Black and White," the Tribune noted Cook' County's high arrest rate for marijuana possession - one of the highest in the nation - and also acknowledged the racial bias in the rate of low-level drug arrests within the African-American community. The Tribune spoke with ACLU of Illinois Communications and Public Policy Director Ed Yohnka:
"It addresses one of the most dysfunctional and discriminatory aspects of our justice system," Yohnka said. "All of this speaks to the fact that Americans are ready for an adult conversation about (drug enforcement). What will be helpful is to move beyond this one announcement and think of other ways to help people who find themselves addicted to drugs."