The town council in Columbus, Ohio is contemplating cannabis coverage reforms that may considerably cut back the penalties imposed for possession of small quantities of marijuana. The council has scheduled a public listening to on a proposed metropolis ordinance to enact the reforms for Thursday night.

Below the proposed ordinance, possession of as much as 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of marijuana can be topic to a high-quality of as much as $10. These caught possessing between 100 and 200 grams (roughly seven ounces) of cannabis could possibly be fined as much as $25. Possession of greater than 200 grams would nonetheless be a felony.

The high-quality for possession of marijuana paraphernalia can be decreased to $10. The ordinance would additionally enhance funding to assist these with earlier convictions for marijuana possession offenses have their prison information sealed.

The fines for cannabis possession wouldn’t apply to “any one who obtained the marihuana pursuant to a lawful prescription issued by a licensed well being skilled licensed to prescribe medication,” in accordance with the ordinance.

Punishments Extra Extreme Below State Legislation

Below Ohio state regulation, possession of as much as 100 grams of cannabis may be punished with a high-quality of as much as $150 whereas possessing 100 to 200 grams of pot might set you again $250 and land you in jail for as much as 30 days.

Council President Shannon G. Hardin stated in a written assertion that the council has scheduled Thursday’s public listening to in an effort to obtain suggestions on the proposal from the group.

“We need to know what residents take into consideration on proposed reforms,” stated Hardin. “We’re having critical conversations about inequalities within the prison justice system.

“There are two key parts to the proposal: reducing fines for small quantities of marijuana possession and rising funds for Authorized Help attorneys to assist seal information for minor convictions so Columbus residents can get good-paying jobs.”

Racial Inequality of Hashish Enforcement Cited

In a background paper connected to the proposed ordinance, it’s famous that the racial inequality prevalent within the enforcement of marijuana legal guidelines has already led different Ohio cities to enact their very own ordinances with extra lenient penalties for possessing cannabis. The Columbus ordinance
“will additional town’s efforts to deal with prison penalties which have disproportionate results on communities of colour,” reads the background paper.

“Given the racial inequities that exist with enforcement of marihuana legal guidelines domestically and nationwide, the latest legalization of medical marihuana within the state of Ohio, and the variety of latest poll initiatives and ordinances liberalizing marihuana legal guidelines in municipalities comparable to Toledo, Dayton, and Cincinnati, (Columbus) Council has decided that the potential penalties for misdemeanor marihuana possession must be lowered from the usual set” by the state of Ohio, the background paper provides.

Final month, the Cincinnati Metropolis Council voted to remove all fines for possession of as much as 100 grams of cannabis.

The general public listening to on the ordinance will likely be held on Thursday, July 18 at 5:30 p.m. in council chambers at metropolis corridor. Residents of town who can not attend however wish to ship suggestions to town council on the difficulty can take a web based survey at www.columbus.gov/council/marijuanareform or ship e mail messages to [email protected]