Another group of Ohio municipalities are set to vote on measures to decriminalize marijuana possession during Tuesday’s local elections.
Voters in Adena, Amherst, Nelsonville, Northwood and Wren will decide whether their respective localities should lower the penalty for possession from a misdemeanor offense that carries up to a $250 fine and 30 days in jail to the “lowest penalty allowed by state law,” with no fine.
For Adena, “The Sensible Marihuana Ordinance” that voters will consider stipulates that possession or cultivation of fewer than 200 grams of cannabis, as well as gifting up to 20 grams of marijuana, is a “minor misdemeanor” that will not result in jail time, nor will any fine be imposed. There would also be no court costs associated with the violations.
Read the full text of the Adena, Ohio marijuana initiative below:
Here’s the language that voters will see on their ballots in each of the Ohio municipalities:
Adena—Shall the Village of Adena adopt The Sensible Marihuana Ordinance, which lowers the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by State Law be adopted?
Amherst—Shall the proposed ordinance (titled the “Sensible Marihuana Ordinance”) which lowers the penalty for Misdemeanor Marijuana Offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by state law be adopted?
Nelsonville—Shall the City of Nelsonville adopt the Nelsonville Cannabis Ordinance, which lowers the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to lowest penalty allowed by the state law?
Northwood—Shall the City of Northwood adopt the sensible marihuana ordinance, which lowers the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by State Law?
Wren—Shall the proposed Sensible Marihuana Ordinance, which lowers the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to the lowest penalty allowed by State law be adopted?
If successful, the votes would build on an expanding local reform movement in Ohio. During last year’s election, six cities—including the state’s sixth most populous city, Dayton—voted on decriminalization measures, and five of those passed.
The City Council of the capital, Columbus, voted in favor of a measure significantly reducing penalties for cannabis possession in July. In June, the Cincinnati City Council passed decriminalization in the city of more than 300,000 people. Legislation to decriminalize in Cleveland was also introduced this year, but it hasn’t seen action beyond a first reading in the City Council.
In 2015, Ohio voters overwhelmingly rejected a statewide marijuana legalization measure that many longtime advocates opposed because it granted exclusive control over cannabis production to the very funders who paid to put it on the ballot.
Three jurisdictions in neighboring Wisconsin voted in favor of nonbinding resolutions expressing support for the legalization of either medical or recreational cannabis in April, which followed the approval of similar cannabis measures in 16 counties last November. State lawmakers there introduced a bill to decriminalize marijuana possession on Wednesday.
Photo courtesy of Brian Shamblen.