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decriminalization

Cincinnati could soon have a program to help people clear their criminal records if they were charged with having small amounts of marijuana.  

The full council could vote on the expungement ordinance Wednesday.

Marijuana plants
Jim Mone / AP

Ohio cities and law enforcement agencies continue to raise concerns that they can’t easily prosecute people for small amounts of marijuana because of the state’s new law allowing hemp and CBD oil. Some say the problem is there’s no good way to test the differences between marijuana and hemp. 

gjbmiller / Pixabay

The Columbus City Attorney’s Office says it will no longer prosecute misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession, effective immediately.

Cleveland City Council is considering an ordinance that would remove fines and prohibit jail time for possession of marijuana offenses.

The proposed ordinance wouldn’t decriminalize marijuana in Cleveland. And state laws against possession still exist.

Under the proposal, marijuana possession would still be a criminal charge in Cleveland. Up to 100 grams would be a minor misdemeanor, between 100 and 200 grams a 4th degree misdemeanor. All fines and court costs would be suspended.

Marijuana plants
Jim Mone / AP

Columbus City Council votes Monday night on a plan to reduce penalties for marijuana possession in the city code.

On Friday, March 22, 2019, a participant smokes a marijuana cigarette during at meet and greet at "Tommy Chong's Live, Love, and Smoke Tour" in Los Angeles.
Richard Vogel / Associated Press

Columbus City Council introduced a measure this week to drastically reduce penalties for marijuana possession.

Ed McCants gathering signatures for Marion's "Sensible Marijuana Ordinance."
Nick Evans / WOSU

Ed McCants is making the rounds in Marion, walking door-to-door with a clipboard collecting signatures for a local marijuana decriminalization initiative. He says the responses are hot and cold.

Cincinnati Council is expected to finally take votes Wednesday morning on several ordinances to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.  

On Friday, March 22, 2019, a participant smokes a marijuana cigarette during at meet and greet at "Tommy Chong's Live, Love, and Smoke Tour" in Los Angeles.
Richard Vogel / Associated Press

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss efforts to reform drug laws so users would avoid jail time and the stigma of a felony conviction. Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio, joins the show.

A procedural rule prevented Cincinnati City Council from voting Wednesday on an ordinance to take away the penalties for marijuana possession if the city's police department issues citations for such offenses.

The full Cincinnati City Council could vote Wednesday to decriminalize the possession of marijuana in the city.

On Friday, March 22, 2019, a participant smokes a marijuana cigarette during at meet and greet at "Tommy Chong's Live, Love, and Smoke Tour" in Los Angeles.
Richard Vogel / Associated Press

Medical marijuana is still a new sight around Ohio, but the conversation is already shifting. Columbus City Council president Shannon Hardin wants to reduce penalties for marijuana possession, and he's taking the first step Thursday night at a public hearing in Council chambers.

Cleveland City Council plans to take up the decriminalization of marijuana during this year’s session.

Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Blaine Griffin said during Monday’s committee meeting that he’d be looking at recent laws in Toledo and Dayton as models.

“I’m going to have several experts from that industry, as well as some internal partners from the city of Cleveland, that we are going to bring together to have the discussion around decriminalization of marijuana,” said Griffin.

Starting in January, people caught in Euclid with small amounts of marijuana will no longer be looking at six months in jail—and they have the podcast Serial to thank.

The city is reclassifying low-level marijuana possession as a minor misdemeanor, which carries a maximum fine of $150.

Marijuana
Flickr / Creative Commons

Officials in a Newark where residents voted to eliminate criminal penalties for having small amounts of marijuana say they'll continue to charge and prosecute violators under state law instead.