Decriminalization Law: “No Fines, No Jail Time” for Felony Marijuana Offenses
City in Ohio makes strides
Toledo, Ohio is decriminalizing pot use. A measure passed last September was recently upheld by Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and local prosecutors to maintain a city ordinance that takes the sting out of marijuana use. Hopefully this act will be copied across America.
A report from the Toledo Blade reports that since voters approved a measure last September which eliminates the criminal penalties associated with misdemeanor and felony pot possession, only twenty-one people have been charged with marijuana possession. Most expect their charges to be reduced to disorderly conduct, according to the report.
Just one person has been convicted of the offense — an 18-year-old woman by the name of Mariah Smith, who received a sentence of “no fines and no jail time.”
Approximately 70% of voters passed a decriminalization measure in 2015, and it shines as one of the best examples of overturning decades of the government war-on-drugs nonsense that has cost this country’s taxpayers about $500 per second since the year 2010.
Toledo is perhaps one of the best ordinances of its kind in the nation. The law not only decriminalizes possession of marijuana in small amounts, but it also eliminates all of the criminal penalties and fines associated with felony possession and trafficking. Further, it includes a ‘gag law’ which prohibits Toledo from referring pot users to the state.
Marijuana possession in any amount is considered a minor misdemeanor now in Toledo, whereby those convicted “shall not be fined and no incarceration, probation, not any other punitive or rehabilitative measure shall be imposed.”
A recent city briefing suggested that there are still penalties covering felony marijuana possession in Toledo, including the seizure of contraband and a smear on a defendant’s record. But the people of Toledo have decided that the state’s definition of penalties, specifically fines and jail time, are no longer necessary for offenses pertaining to marijuana, according to arguments provided by DeWine.
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Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.