Marijuana Possession Decriminalized in 4 Ohio Cities

The efforts to decriminalize cannabis throughout the state of Ohio failed in 2015. However, a number of cities didn’t give up and they instead continued with their efforts to vote in order to legalize marijuana inside their city limits. This takes a bold step towards safely nullifying any efforts to prohibit the use of marijuana. Voters in Logan, Bellaire, Roseville and Newark cities in Ohio legalized cannabis use in the 2016 November election. Individuals found in possession of less than 200g of weed in these four Ohio cities will not be victimized or arrested by the local police. The International Business Times stated that, the state capital of Columbus together with different other cities in the Buckeye State are also expected to follow suit with the voting of measures that will see marijuana possession legal within the cities. One of the primary organizers of the effort by Bellaire by the name Bill Schmitt said that this is the best way to circumvent lawmakers who are reluctant to use common sense reforms on weed. He further reiterated that, if legislators cannot change laws, they had the power to do so and that is something that they got the template for.

This template has led to many other victories. Toledo, Ohio voted in a similar measure in 2015. The neighboring states of Michigan and Pennsylvania have also legalized cannabis possession in a number of cities in the past. This is happening everywhere and is not only in the Midwest. There are many more cities in the country that are taking these steps towards the legal use of marijuana. Strategically, this type of action at the local level can have a very significant impact at the level of the state just like the manner in which the state actions have affected the feds. If enough counties and cities continue to legalize cannabis, it could easily convince the state governments to drop the state law at least to some level. As political subdivisions continue to establish similar policies, there will be more pressure mounting to make changes to the law passed by the state government.

The decriminalization of weed in these cities takes off a big layer of laws that prohibit the possession and use of cannabis, but the prohibition by the federal government will remain in force. The FBI statistics show that the enforcement by the law makes roughly 99% cannabis arrests under the local and state laws but not at the federal level. By mainly ending prohibition at the local level, these cities in Ohio are basically sweeping off the basis for a number of marijuana arrests. Additionally, these figures show that it would take about 40% of DEA’s annual budget to examine and raid all weed dispensaries in Los Angeles, which is a single city in one state. This does not include the prosecution cost. The lesson learnt is that, the feds do not have the resources to enforce the prohibition of weed without a big issue of local and state assistance.

This is a powerful movement where an increasing number of states have continued to ignore the prohibition by the federal government. Such states as Oregon, Alaska, Washington and Colorado have already working recreational marijuana laws. Others like Massachusetts, Nevada, Maine and California are set to get involved later on following the passing of their ballot measures during the 2016 November elections. There are more than 25 states that allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons. This is more than 50% of the states in America. At this rate, the feds have an uphill task to keep up with their stand. These local authorities are sending a strong message that is likely to be received in the state.

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