CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson has signed legislation that eliminates prosecution for low-level marijuana offenses.
According to the mayor’s office, the bill was signed Wednesday and takes effect immediately.
The legislation eliminates stiff punishment (fines or jail time) for marijuana possession of up to 200 grams or about 7 ounces.
Additionally, those convicted of a minor misdemeanor and misdemeanor possession will not carry a criminal record and are not required to report the conviction on applications for employment and licenses.
Under the old law, possession of up to 200 grams, defined by the state as a fourth-degree misdemeanor, carried a fine of up to $250 and up to 30 days in jail.
The new legislation mirrors what several other cities in Ohio, including Columbus and Cincinnati, already have in place.
Councilman Blaine Griffin, the legislation’s chief sponsor, says the next step will be to expunge past marijuana offenses and to lobby the state to make marijuana legal.