It’s good news for residents of Columbus.
The city’s Attorney’s Office has said that it will no longer prosecute misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession. The decision is effective immediately.
City Attorney Zach Klein said on Wednesday that his office is also dismissing all pending charges of marijuana possession.
Gov. Mike DeWine recently signed a bill that legalized hemp production and CBD products in Ohio.
“The passage of Senate Bill 57 requires a distinction between hemp and marijuana, but our current drug testing technology is not able to differentiate, so we will not have the evidence required to prosecute these cases,” Klein remarked. “As we continue to review these policies, SB 57 has opened up a broader conversation about how we should prosecute minor misdemeanor marijuana possession cases in the future.”
Those who are now caught with less than 100 grams of marijuana would be fined just $10, while people caught with 100-250 grams would be fined $25.
“Considering the substantial cost of new equipment and testing versus the possible benefit of prosecuting these often-dismissed cases, in addition to the recent ordinance passed by Columbus City Council, we plan on engaging in further discussions on whether to make this new policy permanent,” Klein said.