The Cincinnati City Council Law and Public Safety Committee has given unanimous approval to a proposal by Councilmember Charlie Winburn to allow for the expungement of cannabis possession misdemeanors. The measure is now up for a full Council vote, which is expected to come this week.
Under the proposed law, those who’ve received a misdemeanor for possessing up to 200 grams of cannabis within the city will be able to have the charge sealed from their record, meaning 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 This law was repealed in 2010 to put the city in line with the state, which finds the possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis a minor (expungeable) misdemeanor with no possibility of jail time; possessing 100 to 200 grams can net someone a jail sentence of up to 30 days, but remains a minor misdemeanor.
Winburn’s proposal would alter these criminal misdemeanors to minor misdemeanors, allowing the individual who received them to apply for expungement.
The proposal, which would affect over 10,000 people according to Winburn, is supported by Cincinnati Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell.