Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Pot Smoking On Arai School Grounds

A frustrated reader writes in:
"I wanted to share this: I was just in the Arai School Field at Leland. I saw someone smoking pot and told him that he cannot smoke weed on school grounds... and I waited... after another 2 minutes and he did not move I called police at 911, thinking that someone using illegal drugs on the grounds of a school where there have been obvious community issues might be somewhat of a priority...
...15 minutes later, no police ever showed up and a probably drug dealer on school grounds walks away. And a concerned citizen who attends CAPS meetings and stood up to someone at a school walks away too, completely discouraged..."

Update: Someone "in the know" wrote to us with more information about the alleged lack of police response. "The 911 call taker got the call and was told that the offender fled west bound on Leland so that is what the responding officer did. Responded in less than four minutes. Also, the caller was anonymous so there was no way to follow up or know who to look for."


  1. I love the "pot smoker equates with drug dealer" theme.


  2. Thank you for your concern; we need more of this. But just as a matter of curiosity, did you try to also somehow get in touch with the principal, etc., to let them know what was going on as well?

  3. This is very frustrating because I had a similar experience near Goudy School as the school was letting out . I didn't approach the guys smoking, as they were a lot of them, but I followed them around the neighborhood reporting to the police on the phone what street we were on, what direction we were headed, etc. They still never showed up and I gave up after about a half hour. Seems like pot smoking is legal these days!

  4. While I agree that smoking on school grounds is inappropriate, and that either the school or the police should act, I've never seen a street dealer smoke pot in public. It just attracts way too much attention for someone who's actively breaking the law.

  5. how can Arai's security allow this - it is a school day, right?

  6. Oh, no! Not marijuana! Proper reaction: let the guy enjoy his smoke and get a life. Well, maybe he shouldn't be doing it on school grounds, but really, he probably shouldn't be on school grounds anyway. That's the main problem. The pot smoking, though. Meh. I'm sure the kids themselves do it out there every day. Better than having them become alcoholics instead. Marijuana use by teenagers has increased lately. Alcohol use has decreased. Sounds peachy to me.

    And no, you wouldn't see a dealer smoking in public, because that is crazy stupid. (Though... some dealers are indeed crazy stupid, but chances are most of those ones are already locked up because they got themselves caught).

    You wouldn't see me doing it, either. Because I'm sneaky. Ha! Well, actually, no, it's just a bad idea. For myself and friends, particularly. Cops, they don't like groups of folks dressed all in black with strangely coloured hair. Tend to give them a tough time. (Blue hair is SUSPICIOUS!)

    Maybe back in Canada where MAYYYYBE you'll get a ticket, but more likely they'll just ask to watch you grind it into the pavement. They all smoke, too, anyway.

  7. More details needed, was it during the school day around younger kids, or was it after school, just some kids hanging out. Doubtful hes was dealing. Pot is a drug that should be legalized, taxed and access controlled (at least to the level of tobacco and alcohol
    ;-) )But really. How many of the complainers are college grads. How many drank while under 21 "away at school" or "experimented" with soft drugs, pot, x, shrooms etal. But that was okay we were "in college". Well the kids in this neighborhood for the most part don't have a dorm room to run off to. Neither did the kids in my hood growing up. Since we couldn't "experiment" in dorm rooms or college bars (notorious for letting in underage students)we recreated chemically where we could.Us poor white boys hung out at the lake with our beers and pot,or the park, or the local school. That is the facts of urban living. So as long as they're not real young, or around young kids, or acting violently, get a grip and if you can't deal with it, move to Winnetka, where the kids do smoke their pot and drink more out of sight.

  8. Downplaying pot smoking around children is a slippery slope.

    I was recently in NYC and amazed at how safe I felt and how clean everything appeared. I did some research on theories regarding why NYC has cleaned up its act. While no one knows for sure, a lot of credit is given to NYC's changes in policing policies, an easing of the crack epidemic, and REDUCED TOLERANCE FOR THE "SMALL STUFF."

    Until the consensus (including Uptown leadership) take the perspective that everything matters, don't expect things to change.

  9. Well you evil long haired hippie freaks can be happy that pot smoking has now overtaken cigarette smoking among American teens.

    Personally, I think weed should be legalized. That being said smoking it on a school campus..........Bozo NO NO.

    In Chicago small amounts of the wacky weed are now treated as a ticket-able offense by the po po. Another revenue source for "da mare" and keeping the users out of the Criminal Justice system. God bless our brilliant mayor.

    This former Chicagoan has what I consider the sanest views regarding drug legalization.

    By the way outside some Canadian Viagra and testosterone gel I scored from an online pharmacy I have never partaken in any illegal drugs. Alcohol and caffeine are fine by me.

    Even the Vitamin V and T-Gel were a disappointment. I just wandered around Jewel in a state of tumescence with an angry look on my face.

  10. Weed is fine.

    Alcohol is much, much worse.

    Heck, the last thing anyone who's high wants to do is create some sort of ruckus.

    The biggest victim of weed is usually a stiffed and confused pizza delivery guy.

    That being said, at least the good folks in Canada have enough class and respect for their community not to indulge in public.

    Not to mention the concern for their own safety.

    And, to excuse the public use of drugs or alcohol due to a lack of private place to do so is ignorant.

    If you wanna get high, go nuts.

    Wanna' drink? - knock yourself out.

    Just don't do it on public property.

    How tough is that?


  11. If it was a school day, this is an issue. Definitely. If not, not as much. But yes - slippery slope. Let's not forget that people smoke crack on the streets of Uptown openly...knowing they rarely get in trouble. I see it at least once a week, and call 911 each time.

  12. Let's not forget that the police are looking really hard at crimes committed within 1000 yards of a school, because the penalties are substantially higher... like the woman who sold heroin to the security guard at Cornerstone shelter, right across from Truman College.

  13. So they were smoking pot... What harm does that do?

  14. Last time I checked it was an illegal substance...

  15. Shouldn't we approach this with the same ferver that we would if someone was drinking a beer in public? Its a community thing, so in my mind Candice is dead wrong(although in her defense, she's defending public intoxication in the past as well).

  16. My only peeve (as a non-toker) with weed is the stank. In the summer, there were a couple of times tokers used the alley of my condo building which was right off my baclony. I don't care for that or the cigarette smoke we non-smokers used to get in bars/restaurants. I never complained then but am appreciative for the smoking bans.

    I def don't like that toking is done on school grounds.

  17. Enough with the pro-weed stuff.

    The law is the law, smoking dope in public is illegal, no matter how you feel about it and using drugs on or near school property is really really illegal, as set out in the Safe Schools laws.

    If you dont agree with the law, change it, but till such time as you put the bong down and get off the futon, you need to obey it.

  18. Whether you are pro-legalization or not shouldn't make a difference in this situation. I can guarantee that there would be ZERO tolerance for any person smoking weed on the grounds of Alcott School (Wrightwood & Orchard) or Oscar Mayer School (Webster & Racine), or for any persons downplaying/defending that practice. Why are Uptown's standards so much lower?

  19. Thanks for being a good citizen and calling 911. However, I would never recommend confronting anyone who is intoxicated or impaired or committing a crime. See the latest story on Lake Effect News about an incident on Castlewood Terrace. Also, I would speak to your community policing office if you were concerned about lack of response to your call. Hope that helps.

  20. First off, I think pot should definately be legal with restrictions. But as of this moment, it's not. If whomever this person was couldn't wait until they got home to take a toke, then they have a problem. And if they had no home to go to, then they have a BIGGER problem they should be addressing instead of smoking weed.

    Marijuana use by teenagers has increased lately. Alcohol use has decreased. Sounds peachy to me.

    Oh, to be young and tolerant of everything. I wish I could be around to see your eventual and GUARANTEED transition to a concerned adult. When permissivness of EVERYTHING fades away, it's an amazing thing.

  21. People, know your facts on marijuana's effects before saying it should be legalized:

    Research has shown that marijuana’s adverse impact on learning and memory can last for days or weeks after the acute effects of the drug wear off. As a result, someone who smokes marijuana every day may be functioning at a suboptimal intellectual level all of the time.

    A number of studies have shown an association between chronic marijuana use and increased rates of anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation, and schizophrenia.

    Marijuana increases heart rate by 20–100 percent shortly after smoking; this effect can last up to 3 hours. In one study, it was estimated that marijuana users have a 4.8-fold increase in the risk of heart attack in the first hour after smoking the drug.


  22. Magnolia Educator,

    no reasonable person disputes that marijuana has some negative effects.

    That doesn't mean I necessarily believe anything coming out of the National Institute of Health regarding the negative effects of weed. That issue is too politicized for the NIH studies to be trusted.

    The British public health agency just published a study showing the negative effect of weed to be less than alcohol, nicotine, caffeine and a whole lot more drugs out there.

    The issue with drug legalization is whether "prohibition" is more costly in terms of money and societal damage than legalization.

    It clearly is to any uninterested observer.

  23. Dear Magnolia educator, in addition to the studies comparing pot to alcohol, caffeine and nicotine, (legal "drugs") flip through any magazine and look at the prescription drug ads, particularly the side effects of psychotropic meds. Then come back and argue about how bad a little weed is.

  24. I'm not against medical marijuana. There's a reason why those drugs are prescription only. I was a health teacher for awhile and the NIH is not the only source for this information. I saw it in many sources. THC (the drug in marijuana) is also stored in your fat for decades - people actually get high when they lose weight because it starts going into your system as you lose the fat it is stored in. Alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine leave your system within a few hours or days. But if you think it's ok for our youth's ability to learn to be impaired, fine. We'll just have many more people to cut our lawns and clean our toilets.

  25. Why did the person not report this to the school? Sounds like some random person came wandering onto the field (which is a very big field) and started smoking. Rather than standing futilely waiting for the cops (who apparently did not feel the same sense of urgency at the situation as the reader), why not alert the school this person was there?

  26. "Rather than standing futilely waiting for the cops (who apparently did not feel the same sense of urgency at the situation as the reader)"

    They responded within four minutes and went in the direction the caller said the smokers went in. What's "not urgent" about that?

  27. TSN, just noticed the update re the police response, so that's good. Still, the person originally claimed they just stood around for about 15 minutes and the person was gone. In that time, since that person was under the impression of no police response, I wondered why the person did not let the school know instead of standing around.