Progressive Cincinnati Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard and Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine agreed on something they were against: Cincinnati’s new marijuana law allowing possession of up to 100 grams.
“I voted no because there was no measure and no solid plan in place to expunge convictions and records of people who have been arrested for the amounts that we are legalizing,” Dennard said.
Dennard, who “wholeheartedly” believes in decriminalizing marijuana, says Cincinnati’s law does not have a “plan” for people with prior convictions.
“I’m ecstatic that we are now enlightened about punitive marijuana laws. But with that enlightenment must come reconciliation for the hundreds of thousands of people, overwhelming black and brown people whose lives have been destroyed by unequal enforcement despite equal usage,” she wrote on Twitter.
I’m ecstatic that we are now enlightened about punitive marijuana laws. But with that enlightenment must come reconciliation for the hundreds of thousands of people, overwhelming black and brown people whose lives have been destroyed by unequal enforcement despite equal usage.
— Councilwoman Tamaya Dennard (@tamayaforcincy) June 12, 2019
For different reasons, DeWine voiced his displeasure with Cincinnati after it decriminalized marijuana Wednesday.
DeWine told The Cincinnati Enquirer Thursday that he did not think “it was a good idea” and that he is against legal marijuana legislation.
“We have evidence now that (if) someone is using marijuana and their brain is still developing, which can be up until their twenties, if they use it regularly, they can have a significant, permanent drop in IQ,” he said.
The government has published information about the effects of marijuana on the developmental brain. Ample evidence shows from animal research and studies on humans that “marijuana exposure during development can cause long-term or possibly permanent adverse changes in the brain,” according to the National Institute on Drug Abuse.
When DeWine served as Ohio’s Attorney General, he rejected a petition trying to make marijuana legal in the state.
DeWine thinks legalizing recreational marijuana is a “mistake.”
He told WKYC that legalizing marijuana would cause a “change in culture among teenagers” and increase underage marijuana usage.
“I just look at all the things that happen with recreational marijuana and I kind of scratch my head and I say, why? Why would we want to do that?” DeWine said.
Cincinnati’s new law goes into effect July 12.
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Zachery Schmidt is the digital editor of Battleground State News.
Photo “Tamaya Dennard” by Tamaya Dennard. Photo “Mike DeWine” by Mike DeWine. Background Photo “Cincinnati City Hall” by Greg Hume. CC BY-SA 3.0.