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Thursday, January 16, 2020

Cleveland Prepared to End Penalties for Low-Level Marijuana Possession, Last Among Major Ohio Cities to Do So

Posted By on Thu, Jan 16, 2020 at 10:15 AM

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Come early February, the city of Cleveland is expected to longer prosecute low-level marijuana possession offenses. As is Cleveland's habit, it will do the right thing, but only after many other cities, nationally and statewide, have come to similar conclusions.

City Council's Safety Committee yesterday unanimously approved of the ordinance, which would mean no more fines or jail time for those possessing 200 grams or less of marijuana, as well as no criminal record. That ordinance moves on to Finance Committee now, with an expected hearing before city council for approval on Jan. 27. Mayor Jackson, should all that happen, is expected to sign the legislation.

Ohio's other major cities — Columbus, Cincinnati, Toledo, Dayton — have already enacted comparable measures.

Councilman Blaine Griffin, who sponsored the legislation, told Cleveland.com: “We believe we are at a pivotal moment in our society where people are beginning to rethink how we deal with marijuana. We have to change our way of thinking.”

Currently, low-level marijuana possession statutes in Cleveland can carry fines, up to 30 days in jail, and a misdemeanor record.

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