By Lynne Wilson
Cincinnati, Ohio’s city council voted 5-4 Dec. 28 for a 2011 budget that included the line item ‘Repeal City-only Jailable Offenses.’ So died Ordinance 910-23. Anyone found to possess under 100 grams will again receive only a ticket of $150.
In June 2005, Councilman David Pepper wrote the ordinance to separate the city from the state’s decades-old marijuana decrim law and make all possession charges arrestable offenses with a fine up to $500 and up to six months in jail. A local coalition stopped the move.
Councilman Cecil Thomas pushed through an ordinance in 2006 to make possession an arrestable offense with a fine up to $250 and up to 30 days in jail, adding a sunset provision to end in one year. Then in 2007, despite proof that the law wasn’t working, Council voted 7-2 to keep it on the books indefinitely.
When this City, like others, found it was running out of money in 2008, activists built cincinnatimarijuanalaw.com to gather statistics on guns found, shootings, etc., and prove that the law didn’t work, cost too much and was neither finding all the guns nor stopping the violence. Citizen’s for a Safer Cincinnati led the fight to remove 910-23 from the books.
When deciding on its 2011 budget, City Council repealed the ordinance in a close vote, as four new council members teamed up to convince Councilman Thomas to overturn his own law.
Wilson aka Happy Hemptress HempRock Radio & TV Citizen’s for a Safer Cincinnati Cincinnati/Northern KY TeaPot Party