The first piece of legislation the Dayton City Commission will consider in 2019 would change city code to decriminalize some marijuana offenses.
The commission Wednesday will consider an ordinance that eliminates fines and suspends all court costs for minor misdemeanor marijuana or hashish offenses.
The proposed legislation comes about two months after Dayton residents overwhelmingly voted in favor of marijuana decriminalization.
The city took the pulse of the city in November’s election and has come up with some legal reforms that hopefully are in line with the wishes of the community, said Dayton City Commissioner Jeffrey Mims Jr.
Mims said he expects citizens to give city leadership feedback on the proposal, and they will make adjustments, if needed.
“Decriminalization of marijuana is moving across the nation,” Mims said.
On Wednesday, city commissioners are expected to have the first reading of an ordinance that amends multiple sections of city of Dayton code.
The proposed legislation eliminates a $150 fine and other court costs for minor pot offenses.
The ordinance also says that an arrest or conviction for a minor misdemeanor marijuana offense in the city “does not constitute a criminal record” and does not need to be reported when people apply for jobs, licenses or other rights or privileges.
Under the proposal, possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana in Dayton would be a minor misdemeanor. Possessing less than five grams of solid hashish and one gram of liquid hash would be a minor misdemeanor.
Possession of paraphernalia only used for marijuana or hash would be a minor misdemeanor. Gifting 20 grams or less of marijuana also would be a minor misdemeanor.
Commissioner Mims said other communities that have relaxed marijuana laws have not seen increased crime or other worrisome unintended consequences.
He said marijuana is helpful with a variety of medical conditions and said too many people have become stuck with criminal records because of marijuana violations.
In November, nearly three-fourths of Dayton voters in an advisory election said they wanted the city to amend the code to decriminalize minor pot offenses.
Some civil rights groups and local citizens praised the city for polling its residents about their views of marijuana laws and, after the November election, pledging to reduce the penalties.
The city on Monday said it did not have anyone available to comment for this story.