Columbus City Council Considering Marijuana Sentencing Reform

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--Columbus City Council is considering legislation that would reduce the penalties for misdemeanor marijuana offenses.

Council President Shannon Hardin says it's in light of Council considering approving zoning rules for the businesses that will be serving as medical marijuana dispensaries in the city. That move is expected at their Monday meeting.

Hardin says that Council has, "a moral obligation to address failed drug policy which has for decades disproportionately hurt young people of color." Hardin adds, “I am committed to reducing penalties for marijuana as a basic step towards criminal justice reform."

He refers to stats from the ACLU that say nationwide, African-Americans are nearly four-times more likely to be arrested for drug charges than their white counterparts, despite similar rates of usage.

Council plans to work on draft legislation in the first quarter of 2019. 

(photo via Getty Images)

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