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Added Aug 20 2012

Please help rid Oz Park of the teenagers who gather in the garden every day starting at about 3:30pm, mostly at the benches on the south side of the garden. They do drugs: pot, inhale canisters, (picked up two dozens of them on Sat am) drink, etc. I have gone to the 18th District Caps office with drug bags, cigar wrappers (that they use to make bunts) and asked them to keep a watch. They tell me to call 911 when I see activity there. The group varies from 6-12 and includes females and males of all races. Some on bikes.
We need many 911 calls to get the police to respond to this activity. When I get my phone out to call, they run as they know me by now. Sometimes they flee to the alley that runs into Webster across from the Park.
It is a shame that others are afraid to go into the garden when they see this behaviour and it is illlegal.
Please help by calling 911 when you see the group gathering into the early evening.
Thanks

  • Well, that same group of kids are chased out of Oz park and then meet up at Jonquil Park on the north side, under the trees. I think this group may need more interaction then the CPD are able to give them. The only thing that will stop them from their behavior is to give them a better opportunity then to hang out in a park smoking pot.

  • If they are so unimaginative and / or weak minded that they can't think of anything else to do other than smoking dope and throwing trash on the ground than they are hopeless.

    Call 911 before they start believing that their are no consequences to breaking the law and decide to move up to robberies and burglaries to support their drug use. Hopefully it is not too late now.

    Lets reward good behavior with "better opportunities" not illegal behavior.

    .

  • Art

    I know many Moms are uncomfortable going into the garden when kids are there drinking or doing drugs. Pull out your phone and snap a photo of them and then call 911. The city may have decriminalized pot possession, but its still a fealony to smoke pot and do drugs in city parks. If enough people make life difficult for the kids to do drugs at OZ Park, then they will move on and families can enjoy the park again.

  • GL

    Personally I'm more surprised that these kids are too stupid to realize how obvious they are being. High school kids smoke week because that is what they do these days and it has little to do with lack of opportunity. Before people jump on my back I would like to say that not all kids do but you are fooling yourself if you don't think that it is as prevalent with good kids as it is with bad kids.

    I understand why people in the neighborhood have an issue with this and I completely support the effort to vacate them from the parks, especially during the times when younger kids are present. That said, you are not going to stop their behavior but you can cause them to go elsewhere (perhaps somewhere more inconspicuous). If that is your goal you will have better luck telling them that the police know about what they do and that the neighborhood will call the police on them so if they care about staying out of trouble they should go elsewhere.

    Personally I don't care so much about some teenager smoking a joint as much as I do about the increase in robberies and shootings in Lincoln Park. I much rather the cops dedicate their effort to keeping us safe than chasing (mostly) harmless teens.

  • Could be "mostly harmless" behavior but I wonder where they get the money for their drugs. Part time jobs?

  • GL

    If I had a quarter for every time i said "how does that person get the money for XYZ"...

  • I was walking back from working out today around 3:30pm and saw an older man with a camera, taping a bunch of kids in that area. The kids were moving away from the man while they traded words. I just walked on through the crowd of fleeing kids while he taped them. Very weird and uncomfortable situation.

  • Thursday, 23 August Update.

    Went to the garden at about 330. There was a group of about 10 high school student age people there. At least two of them were smoking pot. There were also used cigarillo wrappers and a drug baggie right under the benches.

    When I started taking pictures of the pot smokers, one student objected. I offered him my phone to call the police to complain; he refused. They all left the area as soon as I started taking pictures.

    I promised them that I would return the next day. I was informed about a group which assembled by the garden at around 7pm. It was a different group and there was no pot smoking.

    Get I can some help with this project?

    PS. I wasnt it the least uncomfortable, and it didnt seem weird to me at all.

  • oz neighbor 33 years in LP

    Thanks ozlock..
    Please call 911 if you witness drug use. One arrest would put a stop to this.

  • Sure, calling 911 is a good idea. But as soon as a police car shows up, they scatter. Until the police department is willing to send in undercover force, nothing will change. Will they? When you look at the headlines and see a score of people shot last night, the Commissioners "broken glass" philosophy seems to break down.

    Maybe pressure from the alderman on the police department would be more effective.

    As for "merely" sending them somewhere else, well then the people somewhere else need to mobilize.

  • GL

    You might have better luck if you spoke to somebody at Lincoln High School. You could probably convince a teacher or administrator to walk over to the "crime zone" and they will instantly know who those kids are. Moreover the school probably has the ability to punish them and at the very least they will tell the parents.

    That said, I still don't think that this is a big deal and I rather that the cops for focus on all the "real" crime that has been occurring in LP.

  • "One arrest would put a stop to this."

    Not really. Possession of non-felony amounts of marijuana is legal now in Chicago. If you are an adult there is only a fine IF you actually decide to show up in court.

    If you are a juvenile (under 18 now) at worst you will be taken to the nearest police station and released to your parents.

    Chicago now has adopted the reverse of the "broken window" school of law enforcement. If it is "only" a property crime and if the law breaker doesn't physically hurt us, the theory is now "catch and release" until they move up to crimes that our political leaders actually care about now like rape and murder which are still considered "real crimes"as opposed to "just the usual and customary ordinary crimes.

    Those kinds of crimes apparently are acceptable. Nice message to our next generation.

  • Dear GL,
    Let me try to be generous: we have begged LPHS for years, through at least four administrations to do something about drugs, graffiti, tagging, littering, misuse and damage of park equipment, and, verbal abuse of park visitors. The response ranges from denial, to apathy, to disinterest, to abuse of Oz Park Board members. They claim they have neither the authority nor the personnel to police the park. I see no reason why a teacher would volunteer to police the park in addition to other unpaid activity they are required or volunteer to do.

    Our biggest effort was the presentation at a board meeting of hundreds of drug bags, some of them with drugs still in them. The reaction was, hey, those arent our kids. Students also hide bottles of liquor in the trees--maybe even weapons.

    For a while the police department promised to use undercover people to roam the park. At one point a lieutenant told us that that effort was not a priority. Notice the period.

    As to the issue of whether itz a minor matter or not, read the above. People are intimidated by large groups using drugs in the garden. That is not right. Members of the OPAC work diligently all year to keep the garden nice, and citizens contribute money to maintain and upgrade the plantings for all to enjoy, but not to be a drug haven.

    There are estimates of 1000 to 2000 police short in the department. Homicides are up 30% in Chicago, to say nothing of shootings. Police must set priorities, but that doesnt mean we shouldnt push for help. They may have a break in the gunfire. Meanwhile, Rhambo continues to give TIF money (your taxes) to developers.

  • GL

    I did not realize that LPHS has been so unresponsive. That is shocking. I know that when I was in school (not in Chicago) the administration would suspend kids who had been caught drinking or doing drugs even when it happened away from the school and during non-school hours. I'm surprised that they would be so ambivalent to this issue. I did not expect LPHS to "police the park" but if they knew that it was certain kids that were doing drugs they would at least report the kids to the parents.

    For all the property tax dollars that comes from our neighborhood I would expect a little more from LPHS. They are a neighborhood institution so they should be expected to do some level of outreach. I don't think that it is asking too much for them to impose some local volunteer work (such as picking up trash from the parks) as part of teaching community service.

    I also don't want to give the impression that I think that what goes on is acceptable. Even though I may think that minor drug use isn't a major crime, I do take seriously the threat posed by unruly groups of teens, especially in light of all the flash mob incidents. While I don't think that these kids are inherently dangerous it is clear that there has been a complete debasement of youth culture and even kids from good homes tend to act in a very disrespectful ways. However, since it isn't against the law to be an a-hole there is little that the police can do about that. While catching them with drugs may remove one or two kids I doubt that it will change much. I think that the only way to change anything is to make the parents of these kids aware of the situation. It is probably not going to solve much but hopefully there are at least a couple parents who might want to discipline their children and teach them better values.

    I commend your desire to make the neighborhood better and the initiative that you have taken.

  • oz neighbor 33 years in LP

    Ozlock is right about the school response. The OPAC has tried for years to work with the school. We had a huge issue last year when they and the Alderman locked up the hoops so no one could use them after school. They even had the nerve to ask neighborhood organizations to pay the salary for a school employee to lock the hoops...we all refused. This issue was finally resolved when the Park District agreed the hoops should remain open for all to use. As many of the students come from outside our neigborhood, the parents couldn't care less that they are trashing our Park. And I am not sure that all the kids are from LPHS. Especially during the summer,
    BTW: smoking pot is still a felony on school and park grounds.
    For those who think this is no big deal, the damage the teenagers have done to the garden and Park is a big deal.
    Tramping the flower beds, damaging the sculptures, graffiti, etc.

    I say again: please call 911 when you witness drug use in the Park. I went to the 18th District Police Station with drugs bags in hand and was told to call 911. If the police get enough calls for one spot, they will consider it "hot" and put it on their watch list.

    Oz Park is a treasure for our neighborhood and we should not let a groups of punks ruin it for the rest of us.

  • Judy minimizes the hoops issue. I alluded to a case where a parents group at LPHS actually vilified us when we asked for their help. The alderman, who claims to be data driven, collaborated with the high school without getting the facts or the opinion of the community about hoops.

    We have been to numerous CAPS meetings over this and other issues. The police, who, by the way supported the community, the park district and us on the hoops issue, encourage us always to call 911 to report crimes. As Judy points out, issues elevate to felonies when they happen near schools and in parks.

    The police are all adults. If there is a conflict in the district regarding the importance of a report, they are perfectly capable of using wise discretion in assigning police personnel. Dont be discouraged if your complaint does not receive immediate attention--there might be a murder, battery or burglary going on elsewhere. Understand that and keep calling 911.

    I would be remiss if I fail to commend the beat police. They do a great job, and are very responsive. Dont hesitate to leave your name--it increases your credibility.

  • 24 August garden dope update.

    I visited the garden again today. There seemed to have been a somewhat different group there. Some of them left when I arrived. Some gave me some typically immature lip, but nothing aggressive or threatening. I observed no dope use or dope bags or other paraphernalia. I was alone, again.

  • At the next CAPS meeting ask if any of the officers present have ever in their entire carreers have seen anyone even charged with a felony for smoking marijuana in a park or even a school let alone actually convicted of a felony. Simply because a law is on the books doesn't always mean that it is enforced.

    The police know this and the criminals know this. Only the law abiding public remains uninformed.

  • You are probably right meyer,
    However, some of these kids are in the IB program and an arrest or tickets would not bode well for them.
    Besides, all it takes is an arrest or a ticket and that will accomplish the goal of ending the drug use in the garden. We dont aspire to jail terms or felony convictions, just deterrence.

  • oz neighbor 33 years in LP

    Over the years I have seen kids arrested, led away in handcuffs and put into police cars. Witnessed this happening last spring in the garden when I called 911 and the bike cops made the bust. School security was apparently called out and one kid was led away to the school cuffed to LPHS security guard and one was put into the police car. This was at 7:30 am before the school day started.

  • I don't want to belabor this but obviously angry looks, stern words and even arrests are not acting as deterrents. The problem is that none of these actions have any real consequences. I am certain any arrestees are simply released to their parents if they are juveniles and printed and released if they are 18 and older.

    Now 18 year olds and older will be given a notice to appear at an administrative hearing and given a fine it they show up. They will not be printed and will not have a record.

    Will this deter? We'll see but I doubt it because most will not appear because arrest warrants for non appearance are not allowed under the law.

    Do I advocate jail time or felony convictions? If I ever did, not any more since the President of the County Board just told us that those that do advocate enforcement of our drug laws deserve to burn in the hotest place in hell.

    How about community service cleaning up the very parks that they have littered? This might work but it would be considered too harsh by many who advocate education or treatment.

    Since we are told marijuana is not addicting, treatment is out so that leaves education. I guess the IB students have not realized as yet that openly breaking the law in broad daylight in a public park is not good for their future. But wait a minute, there haven;t been any negative consequences so far! So they have nothing to learn either. Maybe we are the ones that need to learn something from all of this.

    In the meantime good luck.

  • meyer,
    " We'll see but I doubt it because most will not appear because arrest warrants for non appearance are not allowed under the law."

    Please explain. Which law proscribes bench warrants?

  • In criminal cases a warrant is usually issued for failure to appear. In civil cases you forfeit your right to present a defense and are usually given the maximum fine.

    Juvenile court is more complicated. However most juveniles are sent home from the station or giving a very long out-of-custody court date. Warrants are issued only in more serious cases and if ever served, the juvenile is usually released from custody and given a new court date.

    In all courts, a warrant can only be issued if the offense carries potential jail time but than safe-guards kick in. Jury trials, free lawyers, higher proof, etc.

    Again deterrence is only effective when the consequences of illegal behavior outweigh the desire to engage in that behavior. Potential consequences are meaningless once they call your bluff and discover they are empty threats.

    Most police know that being stopped, frisked and taken to the station to be printed, photoed and given a court date will deter most minor illegal activity, at least for those who are new to criminal behavior.

    If the beat officers would drive by a few times a day and stop and frisk any people that give them probable cause to believe that they are engaging in criminal activity, those people will likely decide that hanging around there and bothering people is just not worth the hassle and more on to other locations.

    To stop it altogether a day or two spent cleaning up our city while wearing bright vests with COMMUNITY SERVICE printed on the back while under the watchful eye of a Cook County Sheriff might do it.

    Call 911 AND call your alderman. Nowadays it is fashionable to downplay or excuse any crime that is non-violent claiming this saves us money. Lower income, inner city people know otherwise.

    If our Chicago politicians continue to ignore or excuse behavior that effects the quality of life in the city, tell them you think these lawbreakers are Republicans. That might do it.

    These are my last thoughts on this topic.

  • Thatz a very long response. I suggest we carry this on privately. My question is: what law proscribes a bench warrant?

    This is what you said:
    "We'll see but I doubt it because most will not appear because arrest warrants for non appearance are not allowed under the law."

  • Your question is too broad. It depends on the court, the facts and the circumstances.

    Courts have always been allowed to issue warrants by common law and by local, state and federal statutes.

    We are too far off topic and I am retired.

    Good luck and goodbye.

  • Deb

    I'm jumping into this disussion late in the game. But, it disgusts me also. I've had to chase them from my back parking spot sitting behind my car. The way I see it, is the parents are in denial and the kids know how to play the game. I'm all about the community service. But, let's take those photos a step further. I have no problem posting them to create some level of embarrassment. I mean, when we were kids we were afraid to do anything b/c the neighbors would see and tell our parents. If the parents don't care, I do. These kids are arrogant and have no respect for authority. A little embarrassement and community service........It's pathetic the school won't get involved b/c this might be an ideal solution. Post the pics at school.....( I agree, the police have better things to do, but we do need their help in this matter)

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  • Hey Danton, I understand that there is nothing wrong with hanging out with your friends in a public park, but please just be respectful of the surroundings. Young kids hang out at that park too. They look up to the older kids and watch what you do. Please take some responsibility and set a good example. Be cool.

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  • Hey "Danton666" I found a place that will hire high school students. The hours are flexible and it may only be about 4 hours every-other-week. This will look really good on a resume someday. PM me if you are interested and I will forward you the contact information. I will keep all of your info. confidential.

  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • Todd in Bronzeville Resident since 2006

    @ Meyer..." Lower income, inner city people know otherwise." Perhaps the people you referenced arent the only ones in the park smoking.. Convenient scapegoat though..

  • Read it again Todd. I was talking about how lower income people take property crime seriously because they are most often the victim of it and are often without insurance. Only those with higher income and that are well insured blow it off as a minor problem.

    Also my guess is that the goofs in the park are mainly middle income, spoiled brats who are used to getting their own way. These guys may live in the inner city, but I suspect they would be more at home in the suburbs.

    Maybe the hood has changed but I don't recall words like "buffoonery" and "scallawags" being tossed around nor street names like "666"

    I just hope offers of free jobs and expressions of empathy don't encourage them to continue to thumb their noises at authority until some of them end up in County Jail where they meet some truly tough guys.

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  • This comment has been removed by EveryBlock staff.
  • I was hoping that danton666 and meyer comments were ignored. They add nothing to the serious part of the conversation. They are clearly stalking horses. Suggest blocking their posts, as I have.

  • alll of you guys need to relax, just cause kids are going their to smoke some marijuana WHICH HAS BEEN DECRIMINALIZED in chicago doesn't mean that their has to be a convoy of police cars in the park. cigarettes and alcohol are worse for you. so just let them do their thing.

  • Reconsider what you are observing please. You have every right not to tolerate being verbally attacked. Other than that, I think what you all really need to focus on is what you are trying to preserve and maintain here.

    I am utterly disgusted at the amount of comments suggesting 911 calls and police interference. The only positive I see in this entire thread is "The group varies from 6-12 and includes females and males of all races". I really think that says something about the teens in area's maturity and progress as a people in comparison to the adults here, and on the OPAC.

    The war on drugs was a terrible concept and you all seem to be the army. If you really care about the preservation of Chicago and the serenity you feel in the city, as for the WELL BEING of our youth, please focus your time and energy on improving issues through interaction, rather than being lazy bigots, bothering the police who have virtually abandoned the parts of our city that truly need law-enforcment to improve.

    Also, if you all have not realized by now, the Chicago Public School system has enough issues already to deal with, and hiring someone to police the PUBLIC park would be a gross misappropriation of the CPS budget. This would also be a perfect example of wealthy neighborhoods consuming valuable tax-dollars that could otherwise be used to oh I don't know, EDUCATE OUR YOUTH AND PREPARE THEM FOR HEALTHY SUCCESSFUL FUTURES in the first place. For the record, I've never seen anyone inhale anything from a canister in or around LP, let alone 24 of them.......

  • For the most part, we are straight A students. Let us do our thing.
    We have our crutch. Im not saying we have hard lives, But school is stressful.
    Not 1 marijuana related death. Millions of tobacco and alcohol related deaths every year.
    Prohibition makes everything worse.

  • To Brandon Tyler,
    You would be wrong about decriminalizing dope and alcohol in the parks or near schools. It was and remains a felony due to escalation of the offense related to schools and parks.

    As for the other dope apologists--the abusers are free to violate the law, but it would be best that they do it at home rather than in Chicago parks and near schools. And, it would be appreciated if they took their debris and garbage home as well since volunteers have to clean up after them.

    Moreover, the Park District, under itz code of conduct in the parks, has the power to exclude those who violate the code.

  • s

    if there's anything making Oz Park worse than the kids that are already smoking in it, it's there being 3 cop cars surrounding it all the time, what type of image does that give? especially to the little kids that don't even know what marijuana is but do know what cops are? and especially to the outsiders, you all just need to get over it, the shooting's in chicago are literally out of control and you all care about kids who are smoking weed, who are actually 100% harmless? o...kay...

  • Most street drugs, including marijuana, come from drug cartels which are obviously not subjected to any sort of inspection for purity or even cleanliness. Their importation and distribution systems are run by career criminals who are solely motivated by profit.

    All illegal drugs including marijuana are usually "cut" by mixing in whatever materiel is handy.

    Aside from making these people rich do you really want to suck the smoke from this stuff into your lungs?

    If you have ever visited a dope flat and seen the filth and garbage that is typically found in these places you would think otherwise but if you still think this stuff is clean please try to wash your hands and gargle before touching or kissing anyone anyone you care about.

  • First of all, let me just say that I am an alumni of LPHS that graduated successfully and has now moved on to college. In no way am i some sort of criminal who's sole purpose is to rob or burglarize you (nor will it ever be) like most people on here think the people in question are. I will admit, a wide variety of people visit Oz park and statistically, some of them are bound to be disrespectful or up to no good. What everyone on here needs to realize is that just because these groups act a certain way does not mean ALL PEOPLE OF THAT AGE DO.

    Also, honestly, if anybody here truly cared for the state of the children, like they said they did, why don't they just support a child through Children International instead of stalking and trying to arrest these "punks" (who you have no evidence to support their burglarizing from or murdering in your neighborhood against).

  • Zach YA-DOG

    Like every other city and town in the country, Chicago is a community. Communities are based in respect, not the kind of arbitrary respect you give your parents or teachers, but the kind of respect you have for your friends or neighbors, or people who you don't even know in this case. If people feel uncomfortable with pot being smoked in oz park, than kids (or teens) should respect that. Oz park isn't the place to blaze new trails (notice the pun) in the social acceptance of pot smoking, Oz park is Oz park. A place where EVERYONE should be able to go and feel comfortable with others in the community.

    Chicago is a wonderful place, and can be even more wonderful if we all just did the bare minimum to respect the people you don't know and keep it such a wonderful city.

  • Art

    Zach you are spot on. The garden where much of the pot smoking takes place is right next to a playground where kids from 1 to 12 play. The presence of people in the garden smoking pot and drinking - whether they are kids, adults, homeless - or doing anything else unlawful - is intimidating and keeps people from using those areas of the park where the illegal activity occurs. The right thing to do as Zach mentions is to follow the laws so EVERYONE can enjoy all areas of the park. And that includes LPHS kids or any other kids who are just enjoying the park and hanging out with each other.

    So my question to those who think people are being too sensitive about this issue is - when I take my 5 and 8 year old kids to Oz Park - why should I have to put up with pot smoking teenagers in the garden? Would you take your kids in the Oz Park garden to play near the pot smokers?

    As a community we need encourage enjoyment of the parks by everyone and discourage activities in the park that is illegal or intimidating to others.

    And Brandon, "possession" of pot has been made a ticketable offense in Chicago. But be careful, it is still illegal to smoke pot in public in Chicago and it is still a felony offense to smoke pot in city parks.

  • it seems like you seem to have everyone's opinion, except from someone who goes there. i've been in the gardens a lot and we try to be respectful, but its hard if you're being chased out by some lady with a camera who you've never met before. we try to stay out of sight and out of mind by shrouding ourselves with the tall plants, but if people are snooping around we'll get agitated. the gardens started as a pretty place to go to while you're hanging out with friends, instead of going into some dirty ratinfested alley just to smoke weed. i don't know why we have been so disrespectful as to litter our hangout with litter and expect someone to clean it, but with the risk of staying around and getting arrested everyone just tries to cut as many corners as possible. truly we have been having our own problems in the garden, usually the people in there are from the neighborhood or go to the school, but lately there have been people coming from all corners of the city just coming to get high and score some drugs they know are prevalent in the area. these are the kids that need to be watched out for because they're the ones stealing bikes and breaking in to houses just so they can get the money to hang out around there. the lp community is pretty well off with money though and the kids buying these drugs have part time jobs, wealthy parents, or some other way of getting money. maybe with an artistic or musical talent. sure all these things are going on around little kids, but truly as society advances they're just going to be exposed to things at younger and younger ages. i do apologize on behalf of those at the gardens though for our behavior. just thought id put my 2 cents

  • Well said Alex.

  • Zach YA-DOG

    One more point, sorry. Coming from an LP student, I don't think that being asked not to smoke a bowl in oz park after school is a ridiculous demand. Respect is also about compromise, so students, please don't smoke weed and trash the place. And adults, please don't dive-bomb kids with video cameras under the flag of good intentions when they are clearly just hanging out there after a long school day.

    Respect is trusting that people will respect you.

  • Amen^

  • Pot smoking will continue to occur as long as kids attend LP. Were the rowdiest kids in the north side of the city, thieir is an ingrained culture of hard drugs and pot and overall recklessness. We will continue and we will not stop till every blunt has been blazed. the snacks are plundered, and the girls are ours. LINCOLN PARK HOOLIGANS

  • also neighborly can you email me at donche50@homail.com im actually interested

  • What you all are not understanding is that it is us doing it to ourselves, Its not like we are going up to children and shoving drugs down their throat. We never initiate conversations or disturb others unless the person confronts us first. the garden is a place we hang out and I understand we arent good influences but neither is the lady that sits there every day on crack or the drunk men and women who are continuously bothering people at late hours of the park. We dont disturb you if you dont disturb us. Youre saying you want oz park to be comfortable for everyone but you are asking the cops to be called on groups of teens gathering at a pretty place? Its a part of our culture too. The reason why the school or police isnt doing anything is because they are already informed of all this and they understand that we arent a huge issue. This has been going on for years and it hasnt come up in the news or newspaper because its really not a big deal that some kids from lincoln park are smoking weed in the garden near there school. we dont kick you out so dont kick us out.

  • As I sit here and read these comments from "concerned" neighbors I cannot contain my laughter. Why are you so worried about pot smokers? What you really should be worried about and should let the police focus on are all the break ins and violent crimes that have now plagued the city/Lincoln Park. The whole you don't want your kids to be around it is a crap excuse. At a young age I'm sure a child does not know what pot it and all it looks like to them is a bunch of teenagers sitting around smoking cigarettes. Now tell me if you are a cigarette smoker do you not smoke in front of your children? Do you keep them away from cigarette smokers in your family? Do you shield their eyes when you walk past or drive past some one smoking on the streets? No. I didn't think so. You all just sound like a bunch of stay at home Moms and Dads with nothing better to do with your time.

    When you live near a high school or go to parks that are near a high school this is all common. It's not just OZ Park/Lincoln Park/LPHS this happens everywhere.

    Stop wasting your time and the polices time by clogging up their time and phone lines with these stupid pot smoking incidents. I'd rather they be out catching gang bangers, thieves, rapist, and child molesters. God forbid your home gets broken into or you get jumped waking down your street for $5 I better not hear you say "Where are the police? Why weren't they quicker?" Oh probably because one of your pot smoking haters called them to arrest the 5 kids in the garden smoking a joint.

  • Danton666, The job that I was referring to is at Panera Bread Restaurant (at 616 W. Diversey ph:773.528.4556). The restaurant is a new concept location called "Panera Cares". If you are serious about defending the war on drugs,..... then eventually, you may have to find a way to prove to an employer that there is a difference between casual/social drug users and actual drug addicts. The motto for the "Panera Cares" restaurant is, "We trust you'll do the right thing". I'm not sure if there is a drug test for employment. Here is the yelp review and link for the restaurant:
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/panera-bread-chicago-4

  • Inactive user

    i really love how its a big deal to see blunt rappers and empty bags on the ground in Lincoln park but no one thinks twice about it in any other neighborhood.

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  • Hey Alex,
    Nice comment; except for one thing. Why not try not smoking dope? But if you must, try doing it at home. All we ask is that you follow the rules.

    To Semaj: dont appreciate your indictment of all Americans--and who will be next? Blondes? Dont appreciate your labeling people as bigots either. Why not offer your home to the dope smokers so they dont have to go to the rat infested alleys? The wonderful thing about America is that we have laws, rules and tradition. We dont have insurrections when government changes. But if you want to change the rules, get political, run for office, support your favorite weed revolution. Or you can just sit there, pontificate, engage in name calling and let everything go to hell. You assume that we comment then fall asleep; your are wrong on all accounts.

  • Zach YA-DOG

    Respect is not about subjecting to the will of superiors, it's about meeting others half way, compromise. It requires that you step outside of what you see as appropriate (which cannot be incorrect, as it is an opinion) and at least make some attempt to understand the perspective of others. Weed smokers must understand that public weed smoking makes many adults uncomfortable. Adults must understand that teens have a right to privacy. But not in a PUBLIC park, as no matter how hard you try to isolate yourself, it remains public.

  • zach you're truly the only one here who knows anything about respect. these parents won't respect us though because they view marijuana as unacceptable, the same way it was unacceptable for women to wear mens clothing back before we were even born. imagine that, a time where not one woman wore jeans transformed into a nation of skinny jeans and booty shorts. the only way this was made possible was by the people who were taking the chance, breaking the law so more people would be exposed to their movement and therefore more accepting of it. it didn't take anything anything away from people who were witnessing it, it didn't cause them any harm to see women wearing what they wanted, so who were they to say they couldn't? now that doesn't mean we're all going to turn into potheads but all they had to do was turn the other cheek. we are a growing generation of people who are generally more accepting. gay marriage, drug use, and abortion are all becoming more accepted in a time where technology, information, and self entertainment are rapidly increasing, and it's not a coincidence. technology is making it easier to interact with people and see an overview of what's trending among the nation. we're becoming more optimistic and following our own intentions to be the happiest we can be with as little sacrifice as possible. (Continued vv)

  • (Continued ^^)people are afraid of change though and find more and more reason to hold onto the past whenever they can. they're afraid to accept recreational drug use as they think it's a step in the wrong direction. you must ask yourself if you find the fact that some really intelligent kids are within possession of a plant so demoralizing or if it's society's war on drugs thats telling you that. besides, whats worse? spending a beautiful summer day out in a park with friends and some weed? or waiting around the little children's playground so you can take pictures of some teenagers who are spending a beautiful summer day out in a park with friends and some weed? now i dont think we're innocent at all, but i don't think drugs should be the issue. instead it should be the immense amounts of litter ruining the beautiful park, the behavior of those littering, and maybe even designating an area of the park for such activities because they're gonna happen anyways, it might as well just be a controlled safe environment.
    and ozlock i don't quite understand what you're saying.. either you don't understand marijuana or you seem to lack knowledge about me.. see marijuana highs last for 3 hours or so but once it's done it's done.. it doesn't change who you are as a person.. and i dont believe there's one person who smokes all day 24/7, so there are times when i "try not smoking dope", in fact there are many every single day. and there is a lot of truth in what semaj is saying, you just might not want to believe it because it shows some of your true colors.

  • police officers have better things to do like catch rapist and gang bangers who actually add to the crime rate rather than catching kids who are experimenting with things. take a picture!! put me on the web, give it to a police officer and they'll laugh so will I. I get it, little kids are around and it's a bad influence. Parents... you can easily say to your child "hey there kiddo see that middle class brat criminal smoking marijuana, thats what you don't do, that's who you don't become". Is that hard to do? We get it, you think we're dumb and going nowhere by smoking, drinking, and littering (makes ALOT of sense). If you haven't noticed, none of them care if you think that they're lowlifes and they continue to not care. They know who they are and don't need adults like you to look down on them. Kids do change as time goes on but the thing that wont ever change is that they like to hangout in a cool place and smoke blunts, bowls, and CRACK AHHH AREST US ALL WE DESERVE TO BE IN JAIL WITH PEOPLE LIKE OJ SIMPSON
    ALL HAIL FRAU

  • http://www.worldstarhiphop.com/videos/video.php?v=wshhJn4dZEndqiFCjlb5

    Just an example of what it would really make you all feel uncomfortable....

  • Thank you M.Wags for posting that video. That is what should make these people feel uncomfortable and what they should be worried about. If the kids in the park are not acting like that then they shouldn't be wasting the police's time.

  • My parents are on drugs so I can't help it

  • but what goes better with the beautiful landscape (which is infested by bugs and rats anyways, which should keep children out, not teens) than a nice blunt?

  • btw its not like your park is infested with crackheads, just some kids who admire your garden enough to sit and relax there.

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  • NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! omg were gonna get like a detention dude you got us so badly

  • Not... Litterally know for a fact nothing will happen blunts shall continue to be blazed.

  • @ John Stevenson, instead of posting all of our facebooks, why don't you use this as an opportunity to create an open dialogue between people who seem to really really care about Oz and the students of LP? I'm just appalled that a security guard to patrol the garden came up before drug-counseling programs.

  • @ John Stevenson, you are breaking online privacy laws as well as Illinois' stalking law by posting those facebook accounts. I dont think my mother (who happens to be a judge) would greatly appreciate that so i would suggest you take that down

  • Just move a garbage can over by where the kids smoke. Littering problem solved.

  • These kids are responsible for animal abuse, I witnessed a group of teens attempting to get a dog high. It was disgusting.

  • Jacob:
    Ask mommy to give you the citations to the laws to which you refer, and post them here. We sure dont want to get caught in alegal web. Does she know you are throwing her around on a web site?

  • dogs love marijuana

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  • ozlock just mad cus he didn't hit the blunt yet but dog hits it all the time

  • GreatNPowerfulOz Concerned Citizen

    semaj please take this thread seriously, if you don't have anything to contribute please stop posting.

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  • Okay, first of all, i would like to say that it is evident that drugs are part of every high school in the nation. Drug use in high school has been around since the beginning of school. i don't think that there is any high school that does not involve some kind of drug use. Having said that, i think that it was a very non- strategic idea of placing a garden next to a high school, and believing that no teen will come to this beautiful and close spot to smoke weed is unrealistic. being a LPHS student, i often come to the garden to smoke weed. i don't plan to stop smoking in the garden, and all of the undercover wedding couples and casual dog walkers you send won't stop us. i've i do, however, think that littering in this beautiful place is wrong, and a well placed trash can would do this garden much good. but, as for weed, i know for a fact that many other people including me would love to light up a blunt in front of these undercover picture takers.

  • Please do not remove colinz post until the police can track it.

  • Stop using the trash can excuse, theres numerous trash cans around oz...

  • ozlock, I really hope that I encounter you one day in Oz Park, so I may pull out MY camera and record your ignorance candidly. Because I mean, if you write things so asinine when you have the time and resources to do your research, and maybe even spell-check, I can only imagine how foolishly you present yourself in the flesh.

    Until then I'll try to catch you up with the real world:

    STOP BOTHERING THE CPD.

    Public school teachers will most likely begin to strike Monday.

    http://blogs.chicagotribune.com/news_columnists_ezorn/2012/08/school-hours-and-staffing-q-a-.html

    No class = City full of teens with nothing to do and nice weather.
    City full of teens with nothing to do and nice weather = REAL crime and violence

    Here's an article on the magnitude of violence in Chicago this year, cause you seem to live under a rock.

    http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2012/08/25/shootings-leave-4-dead-13-wounded-1-man-shot-dead-blocks-from-obama-home/

    I could make an argument about how pot-head kids + oz park + nice weather + teachers strike is a helluva lot better situation than how many homicides I regretfully except to see in the paper in the upcoming week, but I'll spare you and just pray you get the message.

  • M. Wags, your arguments avoid the point. Plus it seems the crowd smoking in the garden attracts violence, if you want to take that route. I've seen numerous fights going on with kids wearing boxing gloves and filming. Get real hobbies.

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  • I see that someone "tagged" the Dorthy & Toto statue base on all four sides. Would graffiti busters be able to remove this? Is nothing sacred?

  • Skelts:
    Good news. OPAC reported the graffiti and the Park District has already removed it as of Tuesday, September 11. Thanks to the Park District for acting so quickly.

  • That was quick! Bravo!

  • J

    so instead of letting the police do their actual job when they're already spread thin pulling people out of desk duty to run patrol you're going to continue to complain about kids who punch each other, smoke pot, and act like idiots together in a small, secluded section of Oz Park?

    and what are you going to say in 10 years when marijuana is legal?

  • GreatNPowerfulOz Concerned Citizen

    Because Oz Park is a public park and everyone should be able to enjoy every part of it. Just because you may stick to one small portion of the park doesn't make it right. I agree that calling 911 is a drastic step for teenagers smoking pot but if these behavior develops into something that affects others trying to enjoy the park police involvement may be necessary. My advice is to simply keep a low profile and clean up after yourselves.

  • Naprapath Works at Lakeshore Integrative HealthCare

    Once "pot becomes legal", it will STILL be illegal on Chicago Park District property. Do they allow alcohol there?

    I agree with the OPAC that many people don't want to utilize the flower garden exactly because of those kid's drug behavior. I've seen that happen many times.

    I've personally witnessed occasions that mother's will be walking with their young kids through there hoping to explore it and when they run across this group they grab their kids and walk right out. That should not be happening as a result of one group's behavior. All of these groups (those H.S. kids and the mothers, etc) have a right to be there and fully enjoy the garden - one groups behavior shouldn't result in pushing other's out or making another group uncomfortable.

    I don't have a major problem with adults chosing to smoke pot IF they do it where they don't infringe on my rights or my kids rights to enjoy or participate in something - such as in the privacy of their own homes. No one has to sit in restaurants or airplanes or offices with cigarette smoke anymore, why does anyone have to be exposed to copious smoking of pot?

    In addition, "once pot becomes legal" then kids who are the ages in question STILL will not legally be able to do it as they are clearly underage as it would pertain to any legalization legislation.

    Furthermore, kids that are in elementary school, and ages under, are exactly the ones that are playing the closest to the area where those kids are hanging out since the nearby Dorothy's Playlot is for kids 12 and under. What kind of modeling behavior are these high school kids providing for these very impressionable younger ones? That is clearly an issue.

    Again, I don't care if they want to get stupid on pot. Just do it in their own home. Oh, wait, will you say their parents wouldn't approve? Hmm, that's their issue ...

  • Naprapath Works at Lakeshore Integrative HealthCare

    Oh, hey, I have a solution. Photograph them with your cell phone and tell them you will post it online and send it to Principal Boraz! That might solve it once their parents and LPHS sees them in the photo!

  • I agree with everything you say, with one exception. Principal Boraz and the school administration insist that they have no power to discipline or punish what LPHS students do when away from the school premises. This puzzles me somewhat since, as another poster has said, suburban schools often discipline and punish students for acts that not only dont occur on school premises, but may only exist in cyberspace.
    However, since I have a photo of pot smoking in the garden, I will reconsider whether to publish it.

  • Kush lp

    Any one who goes lp and takes pictures, has no life go home and sleep.. theres nothing anybody can do about hahaha thats it too bad get over it, its sad people are complaining about this get a life

  • Randi Doeker Environmental activist

    I'm with Naprapath: Walk over with a camera and start taking pictures. If anyone asks tell them you need photos for the OPAC or Park District website -- just showing everyone how well used the park is. Tell them to smile. Act like you don't know what they are doing. They are just more fun loving park users.

  • Naprapath Works at Lakeshore Integrative HealthCare

    Ozlock, I think Kush is daring you to email the photo to Principal Boraz and to publish it here on EB! As I said before, I could care less if these kids do the things they do in their own home - their health is their own and their parents issue. If someone does something in public and it negatively affects other kids, especially the younger kids, then please take action. By the way, Randi, you can legally take pictures of anyone in public space - you don't need an excuse :)

  • JB in RV Chicago Homeowner

    Make sure the pot smoking kids in question are over 18. If you put pictures of underage minors online their parents can sue the you know what out of you. Be careful! I'd just send it into the school or cops.

  • Naprapath Works at Lakeshore Integrative HealthCare

    How can they sue you if you are simply taking a photo of a public park? I don't think that is the law at all. Where did you get that info Jamie?

  • JB in RV Chicago Homeowner

    I think people can sue for just about anything these days. I'm pretty sure it's not okay to go putting people's pictures all over the internet without their consent, regardless of what they're doing--in a public park nonetheless---especially those of minors. I would just be careful is all I'm saying, you never know what could happen if their parents get involved, or if the kids ban together and try to spot where you live. Sometimes you just have to pick your battles.

  • Well "legally" it is not illegal to photography minors or anyone in a PUBLIC park and publish said-photos any place where they are not making any money. (Otherwise a permit for commercial use would be required, and these cost up to an over 500 dollars, and are generally not used by any organization except by big-event companies that may photograph a kid eating a popsicle or something and then use the image in their brochure the next year)..

    BUT is also not legal to request property damage be taken care of by CITY WORKERS in any manner more rapidly in one park than another park. Especially a park within the same ward.

    There were some cement workers (CITY park district employees) repairing defaced cement near the corner of Lincoln and Webster across the street from Dairy Queen. When I asked them why the response to fix up the damaged and defaced cement was so prompt, they said "the neighborhood" requested the damaged cement be restored.

  • Naprapath Works at Lakeshore Integrative HealthCare

    I think that the cement issue is for another post - but with that said, each Alderman gets "menu money" each year. It is limited but can be spent with the discretion of each Alderman. Alderman Smith asked each neighborhood association (7 in Lincoln Park) to notify residents (it was announced here on EB at that time) that she and her staff would walk around each and every block to identify the needs of the neighborhood.

    She then prioritized things and then then told the city what things needed most attention based on what "the neighborhood" asked for --- so this may be what the workers were discussing ... not sure, but it makes most sense. Each Alderman in each ward gets this amount to spend each year. If it's not spent, I think it goes back into the general pool -- so I am pretty sure they save a little for emergencies and then try to use what they have for other improvement projects as they come up.

    Good use and I applaud Ald Smith for walking each and every block with the neighbors who cared to show up. If you were not told, then next year check with your neighborhood association (or JOIN and they will announce it in email to you!)

  • oz neighbor 33 years in LP

    Sorry but you are both wrong about the repairs to the sidewalk in Oz Park.
    The Oz Park Advisory Council requested in July 2011 that the sidewalk behind the Tin Man be repaired as it flooded every time it rained and became impassable to the many people that used it daily, especially the children walking to school. It took unitil Sept 2012 for the repairs to be made. When they poured one of the sections, the high school students defaced it with graffiti, including a very large penis. It was brought to the attention of the Park District who took out the defaced section and finished the pouring of the concrete.

  • Naprapath Works at Lakeshore Integrative HealthCare

    Thanks for clarifying Oz Neighbor - as I said, my comments were only a guess/suggestion. I still applaud Ald Smith for hitting the streets with neighbors!

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