The city council in Cleveland, Ohio will consider an ordinance that would eliminate the penalties for possessing moderate amounts of cannabis. The proposal was introduced on Wednesday by Councilman Blaine Griffin of Ward 6.
Under Griffin’s proposal, all fines, penalties, and drug treatment requirements for possessing less than 200 grams (just over 7 ounces) of marijuana would be eliminated. The ordinance would also eliminate all penalties for giving away up to 20 grams of cannabis except when in the close proximity of a school or child.
Griffin told reporters that he introduced the measure to reduce the racial bias prevalent in the enforcement of drug laws and to reduce the collateral effects of convictions for minor drug offenses, such as disqualification for housing or educational benefits.
“I think this is the modern-day prohibition. The war on drugs to keep marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug hasn’t worked,” said Griffin. “So therefore, it’s time for us to reexamine our laws and look at, are we actually out of the loop with what we should be doing around marijuana penalties.”
Dr. Leslie Koblentz, who was a psychiatrist in the Cuyahoga County Jail for seven years before she joined the Alcohol Drug Addiction