Photo Courtesy Dom Najolia
Tiny plastic bags used to sell small quantities of heroin, crack cocaine, marijuana and other types of drugs may not be banned in Chicago after all.
Ald. Freddrenna Lyle (6th) said Thursday she joined her colleague, Ald. Helen Shiller (46th), in sandbagging the plastic bag ban at this week's City Council meeting because it would "criminalize legal conduct."
"I've seen these little, bitty, tiny plastic bags. You know they're selling crack cocaine in it. But we've got enough laws we can't enforce. We don't want to make any more or criminalize legal conduct."
Shiller could not be reached for comment.
Ald. Ed Smith (28th), Health Committee chairman, said he held the matter in committee because some of his colleagues have reservations and want another hearing to air those concerns.
"Drugs are handled and passed along in other [containers], rather than just a particular bag, and they had some concerns about that," Smith said.
Asked if he still supported the ban, Smith said, "Oh, sure. I do. Any measure -- whether it's minuscule or whatever -- that can make a dent on the drug activity, we need to do it because it is killing this country. Not only the young people."
Ald. Robert Fioretti (2nd), sponsor of the plastic bag ban, which has been the subject of nationwide ridicule, could not be reached for comment.
Last week, Fioretti convinced the Health Committee to ban possession of "self-sealing plastic bags under two inches in either height or width" after picking up 15 of the bags on a recent Sunday afternoon stroll through a West Side park.