Columbus City Council set to vote on marijuana penalty changes Monday

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COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus City Council is expected to vote Monday on reducing penalties in the city for marijuana possession.

If passed, the new penalties for marijuana possession would be:A person caught with 100 grams or less would receive a $10 fine.A person caught with 200 grams would receive a $25 fine.

Some supporters say decriminalizing marijuana would help end racial disparities in the city.

City Council President Shannon Hardin said the council is not encouraging drug use of any kind.

“We are having serious conversations about inequalities in the criminal justice system,” Hardin said in a statement last week. “There are two key elements to the proposal: lowering fines for small amounts of marijuana possession and increasing funds for legal aid attorneys to help seal records for minor convictions so Columbus residents can get good-paying jobs.”

The idea did not sit well with a member of the Columbus Police Department.

In a Twitter post last week, Columbus Division of Police Chief Deputy Kenneth Kuebler compared a 20-year-old holding a beer could be charged a $1,000 fine and a person with 400 joints of marijuana being charged a $25 fine.

Kuebler continued last week to Tweet against the proposed changes.

The city council will meet starting at 5 p.m. in council chambers at Columbus City Hall, 90 West Broad Street.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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