Ohio Governor Signs Bill Letting Cities Grant Mass Marijuana Expungements, Among Other Reforms

Ohio Governor Signs Bill Letting Cities Grant Mass Marijuana Expungements, Among Other Reforms
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The governor of Ohio has signed a major criminal justice reform bill that will let cities facilitate mass expungements for people with certain drug-related convictions, including marijuana possession of up to 200 grams, while also protecting people from getting criminal records for possessing cannabis paraphernalia. Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed the legislation from Sen. Nathan Manning (R) on Tuesday. The bill covers a wide range of issues, including sentencing reform for people in prison and broader criminal records sealing and expungements. Key provisions of the bill came about after Cleveland Mayor Justin Bibb (D) attempted to facilitate several thousand expungements for residents with marijuana possession convictions. He was told by state officials that localities don’t have that clemency authority, so the mayor worked with Manning to resolve the issue. My administration committed early on to help remove the barrier of low-level marijuana convictions for people seeking opportunities at work or school. SB 288 gets us there, and it shows how cities and the General Assembly can work together to address all Ohioans' challenges. pic.twitter.com/EruJQYhtsS — Mayor Justin M. Bibb (@MayorBibb) January 3, 2023 County prosecutors and city law directors will now be able to apply for expungements for fourth degree or minor misdemeanor drug offenses on citizens’ behalf. That could have sweeping implications, empowering local governments across the state to provide relief to people with convictions for possessing up to 200 grams of marijuana, for example. Also under the legislation, misdemeanor cannabis paraphernalia possession cases would “not constitute a criminal record,” nor would they need to be disclosed “in response to any inquiries about the person’s criminal record.” “At the end of the day, this is [like] a traffic ticket that is being sealed or expunged,” Manning told Cleveland.com. “There are no victims. But because this is a drug offense, it…

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Source : Ohio Governor Signs Bill Letting Cities Grant Mass Marijuana Expungements, Among Other Reforms

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