The Cincinnati City Council gave unanimous approval Wednesday to a measure allowing for the expungement of cannabis possession misdemeanors. The proposal, put forth by Councilmember Charlie Winburn, is supported by Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell.
The proposed law, which now heads to Mayor John Cranley for consideration (though the Council has well more than enough votes to override a veto), would allow those who’ve receive a charge for possessing up to 200 grams of cannabis within the city to have it sealed from their record, so that it won’t appear on a background check.
In 2006, Cincinnati passed a law making the possession of up to 200 grams of cannabis a criminal, non-expungeable misdemeanor with a potential 30 day jail sentence. This law was repealed in 2010 to put the city in line with the state; under Ohio law, the possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis a minor, expungeable misdemeanor with no possibility of jail time, while possessing 100 to 200 grams can net someone a jail sentence of up to 30 days, but remains a minor, expungeable misdemeanor.
The new law will alter these criminal misdemeanors to minor misdemeanors, allowing the individual who received them to apply for expungement.
According to Winburn, the proposal would affect over 10,000 individuals.