Written By: Ishton W. Morton – July 12th, 2019
Back in June of 2019 Cincinnati City Council decriminalized marijuana up to 3 ounces, or 100 grams. This means Cincinnatians are now able to legally possess up to 3 ounces.
Also, the City of Norwood voted last November that there will be no penalty for possession of up to 6 ounces of marijuana which has doubled the amount Cincinnati has proposed.
Meanwhile, more than a dozen other municipalities in Ohio have decriminalized marijuana in similar amounts.
Because one may not be fined, and because one will have no criminal record as a result this new law in Cincinnati, and because there will be no reference to it required on any job application, it is still possible that one could be cited for marijuana possession.
It must be understood the new law may not be as simple as it may appear. Still, there are numerous unknowns pursuant to its enforcement. According to this new law one cannot smoke marijuana in public.
Apparently, under state law possession of 100 grams or less is still a misdemeanor punishable by a fine up to $150 and a mark on your permanent record.
Subsequently, that which Cincinnati has just approved and what Ohio law restricts are now in direct conflict. The City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio are enormous having contradictory opinions.
Accordingly, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac said he will instruct his officers to follow to city law as opposed to state law.
However, he added himself and his officers has taken an oath to uphold the Constitution, local law and state law. The City of Cincinnati and the State of Ohio has a colossal conundrum that must be resolved.
On Friday, July 12th, 2019 In a written statement Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil said; “While Cincinnati council has voted to decriminalize marijuana possession in an amount less than 100 grams, at this time, the Ohio Legislature has not made a similar change. As sheriff, I am bound to follow and enforce the Ohio Revised Code and will continue to do so. However, I have directed my staff to identify potential implications of this recent decision regarding Hamilton County sheriff’s deputies performing duties within the city of Cincinnati. As national, state and local legislatures continue to discuss and determine the legalization of marijuana, my deputies will continue to serve Hamilton County by upholding their oath to enforce Ohio law.” This complicates the process enormously!
Also, earlier Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters affirmed his investigators will continue to cite offenders under state law.
Nevertheless, to the contrary County Government is a conservatory of State Government. Therefore, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters and Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil are obligated execute under the laws as provided in the Ohio Revised Code.
Moreover, State troopers and sheriff’s deputies can cite people under state law within city limits.
In addition according to a recent Nielsen Report States that have legalized marijuana have seen a higher increase in snack sales compared to states that have not.
The report continued to say “Marijuana consumption has been clinically and anecdotally shown to increase consumers’ appetite and enjoyment of food. And sales data from within the U.S. Census divisions where cannabis has been legalized for recreational use supports the munchies effect.”
There have been increased sales of both salty and sweet snacks over the past year in the U.S., totaling $29.9 billion in salty snack sales and $6.5 billion in sweet snack sales, according to the data.
Reportedly, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine had this to say; “As a general rule, it’s a mistake for a municipality to try to override in some way what the state law is. It will be best to wait for the results of the new medical marijuana experience in Ohio before enacting more laws.
Meanwhile, since January Cincinnati Police Officers has cited 50 people in the city under state law. Therefore, there are ways to get around this new law. Know your rights!!!