Ohio: Toledo Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Municipal Depenalization Measure

Ohio: Toledo Voters Overwhelmingly Approve Municipal Depenalization Measure

Toledo, OH: Voters decided by a margin of more than 2 to 1 to approve a municipal ballot measure removing criminal and civil penalties associated with minor marijuana possession offenses. The vote took place last Tuesday during a special city election.

Ballot Issue 1, the "Sensible Marijuana Ordinance" amends the city’s municipal code to eliminate the threat of jail or fines for those found within city limits to be in the possession of up to 200 grams of marijuana, and/or up to 10 grams of hashish or concentrates, and/or up to 2 grams of liquid concentrates. The measure also eliminates penalties for the possession of marijuana paraphernalia. It also prohibits the city from suspending one’s driver’s license as a punishment for violating marijuana possession laws.

State law classifies the possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis as a minor criminal misdemeanor, punishable by a fine of up to $150. Marijuana possession offenses involving more than 100 grams but less than 200 grams are punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a $250 fine. In addition, under Ohio law, any conviction for possession of a controlled substance is subject to driver’s license revocation for no less than 6 months and no more than five years.

Representatives from Northwest Ohio NORML, which assisted in spearheading the effort, have said that they are planning similar efforts in additional cities. Implementation of the Toledo ordinance is anticipated to take place on October 5.

For more information, please contact Northwest Ohio NORML at: http://www.ohionorml.org/northwest_ohio.