News that Cincinnati had decriminalized marijuana possession under 100 grams (about 3 ounces) spread far and wide yesterday and even made the front page of Reddit. Before everyone gets too excited though, there are a few things to remember.
Public consumption of marijuana is still prohibited.
You can still be cited for possession, but that citation carries no fines and no criminal record. Being cited for possession will no longer need to be reported on a job application.
This ONLY applies to city police officers who issue possession citations. Sheriff’s Deputies and State Highway Patrol Officers can still issue a citation under Ohio Law, which would be classified as a misdemeanor and carry a fine of $150 and would have to be reported on a job application.
It is worth noting that other areas in Cincinnati, like Norwood, passed similar ordinances but the police chose to still cite offenders under the state law, which could also happen in Cincinnati. The Chief of Police has indicated that he has instructed his officers to follow the city ordinance rather than the state law, but that is subject to change.
Another measure to decriminalize a smaller amount of marijuana could still go before the council for a vote and would override the 100 gram law if approved.
Stay tuned for more developments.