Why Ordinance 910-23 Was Passed

In 2006, Cincinnati City Council's Law and Safety Committee proposed a law to increase the penalty for simple possession of marijuana. At that time, the City of Cincinnati did not have a specific law regarding simple possession. Instead, individuals who possessed less than 100 grams (about 3.5 ounces) of marijuana were charged under Ohio Revised Code 2925.11, which classified simple possession as a minor misdemeanor with a maximum $150 fine and no jail time. The proposed law increased the penalty to a fourth degree misdemeanor, carrying penalties of up to a $250 fine and up to 30 days in jail.

Two reasons were cited by members of the Committee for increasing the penalty:

(1) The charge of a fourth degree misdemeanor would allow the police to do a more thorough search and allow them to seize more guns and other contraband.

(2) By increasing the penalty in Cincinnati, it would reduce the number of people who were coming from Kentucky and Indiana to buy marijuana because the penalties for simple possession in Kentucky and Indiana were more severe than those in Ohio. (See The Kentucky and Indiana "Problem")