New Initiative to Legalize Cannabis Announced in Ohio

The group Ohioans to End Prohibition have announced an initiative to legalize the possession, use, private cultivation and state-licensed sale of recreationalotep cannabis for those 21 and older. Advocates hope to put the initiative – titled the Cannabis Control Amendment – to a vote of the people during the 2016 presidential election ballot.

“An intelligently regulated cannabis market will promote vibrant competition among small local businesses AND allow outside investment”, says the group. “[This] will create jobs for Ohio citizens, grow the Ohio economy, and foster innovation.”

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Campaign to Legalize Cannabis Launches in Ohio

Activists in Ohio are beginningohiojoint their campaign to put the legalization of cannabis to a vote in 2015. ResponsibleOhio says it will soon be putting forth an initiative to “end marijuana prohibition”, and will “pursue [the initiative] in 2015 to give voters the opportunity to let adults 21 and older use marijuana for medical and personal use.”

“Marijuana for medical and personal use should be a choice made by adults 21 and older in this state. We are going to end this failed prohibition,” says Lydia Bolander, a spokesperson for the campaign. “Legalizing marijuana for medical and personal use means increased safety because we will regulate, tax and treat marijuana like alcohol,” she says. “We will smother the black market and use the taxes generated to help local communities provide vital public services.

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Cincinnati City Council Holds Public Hearing on Cannabis Expungement Bill

The Cincinnati City Council’s Law and Public Safety Committee held a public hearing this morning on a resolution by Councilmember Charlie Winburn to allowcincinnati for the expungement of cannabis possession misdemeanors, and a majority of those who spoke at the hearing were in favor.

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. According to Winburn, this would affect over 10,000 individuals.

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 This law was repealed in 2010 to put the city in line with the state, which finds the possession of up to 100 grams of cannabis a minor (expungeable) misdemeanor with no possibility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.

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Poll: 87% in Ohio Support Legalizing Medical Cannabis

A new Quinnipiac University poll has found that 87% of those in Ohio support the legalization of medical cannabis, with only 11% opposed. The poll also found a majority of the state – 51% to 44% – to be in support of legalizing recreational cannabis.

Ohio's flag.
Ohio’s official state flag.

“Ohioans’ views of marijuana are complicated. Twice as many voters think alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana, and about half the state’s voters think the two are equally harmful,” said Peter Brown, Assistant Director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

Read morePoll: 87% in Ohio Support Legalizing Medical Cannabis