Ohio Decriminalizes Most Marijuana Paraphernalia

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Possession Of Marijuana Paraphernalia In Ohio Currently Carries A Higher Penalty Than Possession Of Actual Marijuana

By this Fall, Ohio will start treating people caught with marijuana paraphernalia the same way it treats people who get most traffic tickets. Senate Bill 337 got lots of attention when Ohio Gov. Kasich signed it last week. But, apparently what a lot of people missed was the part of the legislation that decriminalized possession of most marijuana paraphernalia. The current classification for marijuana paraphernalia possession in Ohio is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. The new law would make the same act a minor misdemeanor.

The bill was sponsored by Ohio State Senators Shirley Smith of Cleveland and Bill Seitz of Cincinnati.

“You could get caught with paraphernalia that people use for marijuana, and get more time for the paraphernalia than you would for a small amount of marijuana.” Senator Smith told WKSU.

Believe it or not, Ohio has the highest non-criminal possession limit in the country. Possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor, which carries no possibility of prison time and a small fine. Compare that with someone convicted of a fourth-degree misdemeanor, who could spend up to 30 days in jail. It's nice to know that there are at least some lawmakers out there that have common sense!

The bill goes into effect Sept. 28. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze talks about it in the audio below. Also, thanks to TWB reader Ben for bringing this to our attention!:

Ohio 7-9-12

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