Ohio cities that need to harmonize paraphernalia laws
Ohio’s legislature change possession of marijuana paraphernalia from a fourth degree misdemeanor to a minor misdemeanor in 2012. The state now treats paraphernalia possession as an offense that does not create a criminal record, similar to the way marijuana possession is treated. However, 50 local governments representing 1.8 million Ohioans use home rule authority to punish paraphernalia more harshly than the state. Cleveland, Toledo, Akron, Parma and Youngstown are among the cities which had not decriminalized paraphernalia as of Dec. 31. 2014. Most cities don’t realize that their paraphernalia law differs from state law and other cities. Most of these cities are unaware that they punish paraphernalia more severely than the drug itself. For example, both Cleveland and Toledo have decriminalized marijuana but treat paraphernalia as a second degree misdemeanor, subject to a large fine and jail time. Help these cities understand their marijuana laws and reduce the self-inflicted harm they can cause. In Ohio, marijuana reform starts locally.