The Cincinnati City Council just passed a marijuana law that is set to clear the record of around to 10,000 people who have been convicted of minor offenses related to the plant.
Council member Charlie Winburn proposed the ordinance that passed unanimously on Wednesday.
Winburn said that the city’s 2006 marijuana law cracks down on minor offenders for no reason. The Ohio state law sets a $150 citation for possession of less than 100 grams of the plant, but Cincinnati uniquely had a city law that made it a misdemeanor.
This resulted in a criminal record for Cincinnatians who were caught with the plant, even though state law had essentially decriminalized small amounts of marijuana. This extra penalty resulted in a criminal record, $250 in fines and up to 30 days in jail.
Winburn said he was also worried that the city could face a class-action lawsuit “for violating 10,000 citizens rights by imposing excessive fees on them.”
The vote passed now allows for expungement laws to seal all misdemeanor 1 and misdemeanor 4 marijuana charges. This is good news for a lot of Cincinnatians who can now find jobs with greater ease, as these pointless convictions were something many had been forced to explain to prospective employers. Ironically, this was not something which those just outside of the city faced. The law, as it existed, was essentially punishing people for living in Cincinnati, rather than surrounding areas.
Now, Windburn says, that has changed, and a little more sanity and balance has been restored to how the city handles marijuana offenses.
(Article by Arman B.; image via Counter Current News)