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Update: City Council passes major reform on marijuana possession

Mike Thomas

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Update: Smoke ’em if you got ’em: Columbus city council passed sweeping marijuana reform laws last night, essentially decriminalizing possession of up to 200 grams.

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.

The new guidelines will go into effect in 30 days.

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07/17/2019: It’s not easy being green, but if Columbus City Council has its way, it might get a lot easier to hold some green.

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On Monday, July 22, the council will vote on legislation that would reduce penalties for marijuana possession in the city.

If the measure is passed, those caught with up to 100 grams of cannabis would face just a $10 fine, with amounts between 100 and 200 grams earning a $25 penalty.

The council’s proposed measure would also contradict penalties enforced at the state level, meaning possession of up to 200 grams would no longer carry the threat of jail time.

A public hearing is planned this Thursday before the possibility of this new legislation getting the green light next week.


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Columbus company cracks top 15 on Glassdoor’s list of best places to work

614now Staff

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Each year, Glassdoor (the website where current and former employees anonymously review companies) releases its list of the 100 best places to work.

Coming in strong at #15 in the 2020 edition of the ranking is the Ohio-based company CoverMyMeds, which operates the largest of its offices in Columbus. Employees of the healthcare software firm cited company culture and opportunities for personal growth as positive factors.

Founded in 2008 in Twinsburg and Columbus, CoverMyMeds has about 1,300 employees across all its Cleveland, Columbus and remote locations.

For more information on Glassdoor's rankings and to view the complete list of the 100 best places to work in 2020, visit glassdoor.com.

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Ohio House passes bill forbidding plastic bag bans

614now Staff

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UPDATE: A full year after the issue was first raised by lawmakers, the Ohio House passed a measure forbidding any bans on the use of plastic bags, according to a report from The Dispatch.

The majority Republican chamber voted 57-35 on Wednesday to approve House Bill 242, which would prevent bans on the use of plastic bags by grocery stores, restaurants and other retailers. The measure will now move to the State Senate for approval.

The legislation also would also protect other single-use plastic products such as food containers and plastic straws from being banned.

The city of Bexley passed a ban on single-use plastic bags in May of 2019, but that legislation would be unable to go into effect if House Bill 242 is passed.

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10/18/2018: After Kroger announced its plan to phase out single-use plastic bags and transition to reusable bags across its stores by 2025, some Ohio lawmakers are trying to stop municipalities from doing the same.

The Republican sponsors of HB625 and SB210 say the state as a whole should decide on a ban or fee on disposable plastic bags to avoid a patchwork of regulations from local governments to local governments, reports WOSU.

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Opponents of the legislation believe business owners at the community level should have the right to decide for themselves whether to implement a ban or a fee, though.

HB625 is scheduled for a committee hearing later this month which could result in a vote.

Do you side with the legislation or the opponents?

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Columbus man shares sexual assault allegations against OSU doctor on NBC News

614now Staff

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As sexual assault accusations continue to mount in the case against an Ohio State University sports doctor, one alleged victim shared his story on a national platform.

NBC News recently published an interview with Stephen Snyder-Hill, a Columbus-native, LGBTQ activist, and military veteran who has accused Dr. Richard Strauss of sexually assaulting him as a student over two decades ago.

Dr. Richard Strauss, who died in 2005

Snyder-Hill told NBC after years of trying to suppress the memories of 1995, it all came flooding back when allegations first surfaced against Strauss last year.

Now, Snyder-Hill is among hundreds of men accusing Strauss of sexual abuse, and more than a dozen individuals seeking legal action against the university.

For more on Snyder-Hill's allegations against Strauss, visit nbcnew.com.

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