The Cleveland City Council has voted to decriminalize possession of marijuana for up to 200 grams (over 7 ounces) within city limits. The new ordinance includes provisions for the new misdemeanor to not appear on criminal records.
Marijuana possession is now decriminalized several of Ohio’s largest cities, including Cleveland, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton and Toledo, WKYC 3 News reported.
Ohio cities may be decriminalizing marijuana, but state law still imposes punishments for marijuana. Ohio law says that possessing up to 100 grams of marijuana can result in fines up to $150 while possessing up to 200 grams carries a $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail.
Ohio legalized hemp last year, and municipalities in the state have struggled to enforce low-level cannabis possession cases. Vermilion Police Chief Chris Hartung said last year that his department will discontinue enforcing such crimes because the city doesn’t have the money to test for THC.
Hartung said that to test for THC the department must send samples to a cannabis-testing lab, and that without the pricey testing, they “cannot prove beyond a reasonable doubt that the suspect was in possession of marijuana as opposed to hemp.”