Cincinnati City Council will vote this week on regardless of whether to expunge the criminal records of anybody previously convicted of possessing significantly less than 100g of cannabis.

The Law and Public Security Committee discussed the challenge and associated ordnance now, and the committee members voted unanimously to pass it on to the complete council for a vote. If passed, it will pave the way for all nonviolent offenses involving 100g of marijuana or less to be expunged.

The council would also set up a fund to spend for representation for anybody wishing to expunge a conviction, though a complete-time function would be designed to procedure applications.

On June 12, 2019, the city decriminalized possession of up to 100g of marijuana, which is equivalent to three.five ounces. But the ordnance notes that it is tougher for individuals previously convicted of such offenses to acquire employment, housing and education and “be productive members of our community”.

It now wishes to take away these barriers employment, housing and education by sealing the criminal convictions beneath Ohio Revised Code 2953.22.

Vice Mayor Christopher Smitherman, who is operating for mayor, previously stated that 86% of the 16,000 citations issued by Cincinnati for marijuana possession went to black individuals, most of them male. He argued that this creates a “permanent underclass”.

“Now somebody applies to get a loan to go to college, or they apply for a job in the building sector, and they’re selecting in between somebody who does not have a drug conviction and somebody who does,” he stated.

Ohio is 1 of 16 states to decriminalize possession of recreational marijuana, along with Hawaii, New Mexico, North Dakota, Minnesota, Missouri, Ohio, Maryland, Delaware, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire. North Carolina, Mississippi, and Nebraska. It is completely legal in California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Colorado, Illinois, Michigan, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, and Alaska.

Quite a few have launched expungement schemes, and Michigan is amongst the states pioneering a scheme that gives drastically discounted licensing charges for anybody preparing to set up a marijuana small business inside 19 cities that had been disproportionately impacted by prohibition on cannabis.