Earlier this month, Columbus City Council passed a major reform of the city’s marijuana laws, effectively decriminalizing cannabis in most situations.
Now, the city’s interim police chief Thomas Quinlan has announced the new enforcement standards pertaining to marijuana possession that Columbus Police will adhere to when the new rules go into effect on August 21.
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Under the chief’s directive, officers will file charges under Columbus’ new marijuana possession law rather than stricter state law for cases of simple marijuana possession. However, state law will be enforced in cases which include more serious crimes in addition to marijuana possession, such as weapons violations and other felonies.
Under the new law, the fine for possessing less than 100 grams of marijuana has been reduced to just $10, and $25 for between 100 and 200 grams. Penalties for possession of small amounts of marijuana and paraphernalia have also been done away with.
People approved for medical marijuana use will be excluded from fines under the new guidelines, and marijuana-related convictions will no longer appear on a person’s criminal record.