Chicago Decriminalizes Marijuana; Still Expensive to Get Caught With It

As we all recovered from our Pride Weekend hangovers, BlackBook Senior Editor Tyler Coates posted an important announcement for Chicago residents: as of July 1st, anyone who ends up “Coatesing” in a taxi will have to pay a $50 cleanup fee. Those who have a problem holding their liquor and somehow cannot muster the coherence and / or good form to at least tell the cab driver carting your inebriated self to pull over, lucky for you, it is now slightly less risky to keep one particular nausea suppressant on hand: good old Mary Jane.

Today, the Chicago City Council voted overwhelmingly (43-3) to pass a resolution decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. And by "small amounts," they mean anything less than 15 grams. Instead of risking jail time and a misdemeanor charge, those caught possessing will be handed a $250-500 ticket (by comparison, as Chuck Sudo pointed out, 20 grams of middle-of-the-road stuff will cost you about $20 in the suburbs, according to which is still a lot of money so it’s a good idea to, you know, not be stupid about this. Also, "openly" smoking or being caught in possession around a park or school will still get you arrested. 

So basically, people partying in the Windy City this summer (and there will be a lot of you, especially with Pitchfork and Lollapalooza coming up)… don’t be idiots, and please tip your cab drivers. 

The 17-Minute President Obama Campaign Ad, ‘The Road We’ve Traveled,’ Is Here

This year’s presidential election will rely on more rhetoric and flim-flammery than ever, which is why the campaign to re-elect President Obama has commissioned a pretty nice piece of persuasive literature: The Road We’ve Traveled, a Tom Hanks-narrated documentary that makes the case for the president by recapping his first term in office. Over 17 minutes, familiar faces such as Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel, Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren, vice president Joe Biden and former president Bill Clinton show up to reason for Obama’s success in the face of conflict. Covered: the financial crisis, the auto bailout, the unemployment surge, the universal health care debate, finally killing Osama bin Laden, and more. Not covered: how he decides which battleground state to patronize on his NCAA tournament bracket (You should’ve picked Kentucky this time, Mr. President. Maybe it’ll go blue this year!). Watch it after the click, via the Obama campaign.

In response, the Romney campaign released a well-reasoned counter-documentary, arguing against all of the President’s accomplishments with logic and good faith. Of course not! They just forwarded along the video for Kid Rock’s "American Badass," which is pretty juvenile. (Reached for similar response, the Santorum campaign sent back a "FAILURE TO SENDER" e-mail.) Don’t forget to vote in about seven-and-a-half months.