Cincinnati City Councilman David Mann has expressed concern about council’s program to decriminalize possession of compact amounts of marijuana. So Monday he proposed a whittled-down alternative.
Mann desires to limit possession to 32 grams (a tiny extra than an ounce) and to individuals 21 or older. Public use also would be illegal. A decriminalization proposal beneath consideration by council does not include an age limit or reference permitting marijuana in public areas.
A proposal to decriminalize possession to up to 100 grams or roughly three.five ounces of marijuana is set to come just before council Wednesday and has the assistance of 7 members.
Mann primarily based his proposal on marijuana laws in the 10 states where recreational use is legal. His legislation could be prepared for a Wednesday vote, which means it would be presented as an option.
Right after the decriminalization measure failed to pass final week in council, Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters cautioned possessing 100 grams or significantly less was basically nevertheless also substantially, he wrote in a letter to council members dated Could 17.
“As you possibly know, I have supported the decriminalization of compact amounts of marijuana in the previous,” he wrote. “Having said that, I really feel these levels of weight are also higher in terms of individual use.”
With a limit of 100 grams, it could be tough for prosecutors to prove other charges like trafficking in drugs, Deters stated.
“I would urge council to meet with police and prosecutors to ascertain a minimal quantity to decriminalize,” the letter went on to say.
Council members say they want to decriminalize weed so individuals who possess it for individual use are not arrested and caught up in the criminal justice technique, which can protect against individuals from having jobs or housing.
The decriminalization proposal seems likely to pass by a 7-two vote. Council member Amy Murray is opposed as is Mann. Final week’s decriminalization vote failed on a procedural technicality.
Deters’ letter is a reversal of what he told The Enquirer final week, which was that marijuana is no worse than alcohol.
“The prosecutor raises significant issues,” Mann stated of the letter. “We will need to slow down and do this correct. I nevertheless do not see why we think something very good comes from saying it is okay to stroll about with the makings for more than 300 joints. How lengthy will 1 individual take on typical to smoke 300 joints?”
He added that likening marijuana to alcohol consumption is not a fair comparison.
“Although alcohol is lawful, we have all sorts of guidelines about exactly where it can be consumed, not in public spaces except per unique permit,” Mann stated. “The proposed ordinance permits use anyplace exactly where smoking is permitted.”
The decriminalization ordinance, sponsored by Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman and Councilman Jeff Pastor, gives officers a option of citing offenders beneath Ohio law or the city law, which does not outcome in a criminal record.
Police Chief Eliot Isaac stated on Monday that officers would comply with the city law, but that he had issues.