Ohio Lawmakers Pave Way For Expungement Of Marijuana-Related Convictions With New Bill

Ohio lawmakers green-lighted a measure seeking to prevent people from having criminal records for having been arrested or convicted for simple possession of marijuana paraphernalia, reported Marijuana Moment.

Under the bill from State Sen. Nathan Manning (R), which was approved in a 27-2 vote, misdemeanor cannabis paraphernalia possession cases would not need to be disclosed “in response to any inquiries about the person’s criminal record.” 

The approval signals a step closer to allowing the expungement of prior convictions for cannabis possession.

While Ohio House members are wrapping up their version of the measure, the bill approved by their colleagues from the other chamber would continue to consider cannabis possession a minor misdemeanor offense.

“We have done a lot of work on this bill. And, really, the goal of this—we talk about criminal justice reform, we talk about tough-on-crime, soft-on-crime—really what we want to do is improve our criminal justice system and lower crime in our society and make our society a safer place,” Manning said. “And to do that, we did a lot of work here.”

Meanwhile, voters in five Ohio jurisdictions approved local cannabis decriminalization measures in last month's midterms, joining 20 other towns and cities that have already done the same.

Cities that voted for the reform included Kent, Laurelville, Shawnee, Rushville, Corning and Hemlock, with the last being the only one to reject the initiative.

Photo: Courtesy of Kindel Media by Pexels and f11photo by Shutterstock

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