Nick SwartsellIf you have had a low-level marijuana possession charge brought by the City of Cincinnati, you could be finding a telephone contact from the city quickly. But Cincinnati City Council members hope it is a valuable one particular.
Council nowadays passed an ordinance that directs the city’s administration to commence identifying and reaching out to these who have been convicted of nonviolent possession charges for possessing much less than 100 grams (two ounces) of marijuana and assisting them get their records expunged.
The legislation by council member David Mann and Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman passed eight-1, with Republican Amy Murray as the sole “no” vote.
“People are going to be shocked by a lawyer proactively calling them about expunging their records,” Smitherman mentioned. “To be clear, this has absolutely nothing to do with gun convictions or cocaine convictions. This is particularly about low levels of marijuana.”
Beneath the ordinance, the city would present a fund for 3 years beginning in July 2021 to spend for representation for these eligible for expungement and to employ a complete-time employee to oversee the expungement work.
The city manager would be accountable for identifying and notifying these who have been convicted of non-violent, low-level marijuana charges and would oversee the hiring of third-celebration attorneys to represent them. The city manager would also report to council about the program’s progress right after the initial year and every single two years right after that.
The ordinance cites barriers to housing, employment and education these with such convictions typically face.
“What we’re carrying out right here is facilitating our citizens who have these convictions to have access to the judicial method,” Mann mentioned. “In the finish, the judge decides whether or not a conviction will be expunged. The prosecutor’s workplace will get an chance to weigh in, the probation division will get a possibility to weigh in… Somebody who has been convicted of an offense involving a little quantity of marijuana shouldn’t have to carry this stain the rest of their life and have issues with employment and who knows what else.”
Smitherman mentioned it wasn’t clear what the ultimate expense of the ordinance would be.
Earlier this year, council passed legislation directing Cincinnati Police and city prosecutors not to pursue criminal penalties for these caught with much less than 100 grams of marijuana. It is nevertheless illegal to smoke marijuana in public, even so.
Smitherman pointed to statistics displaying that 86…