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Marijuana: Felony Or Misdemeanor?

On Friday, March 22, 2019, a participant smokes a marijuana cigarette during at meet and greet at "Tommy Chong's Live, Love, and Smoke Tour" in Los Angeles.
Richard Vogel
/
Associated Press
On Friday, March 22, 2019, a participant smokes a marijuana cigarette during at meet and greet at "Tommy Chong's Live, Love, and Smoke Tour" in Los Angeles.

In this week's episode of Snollygoster, Ohio's politics podcast from WOSU, hosts Mike Thompson and Steve Brown discuss efforts to reform drug laws so users would avoid jail time and the stigma of a felony conviction. Gary Daniels, chief lobbyist for the ACLU of Ohio, joins the show.

Listen to Snollygoster on the WOSU Public Media mobile app, on Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. And make sure to leave a rating and review!

On this week's episode:
Just Say No

Efforts to decriminalize marijuana continue to grow around the country, as well as in Ohio cities like Columbus and Cincinnati. Prosecutors and lawmakers are looking at reducing criminal penalties for just possessing drugs.

Sentencing reform advocates asked Ohio voters last fall to change the state’s constitution to lower drug penalties, but that effort failed. Now lawmakers are considering changing state law to do basically the same thing. Senate Bill 3 is a bipartisan bill that looks to reclassify marijuana possession from a felony to a misdemeanor.  

Snollygoster Of The Week

The Columbus City Council recently passed a 5% ticket tax to fund maintenance and repairs for the Blue Jackets' home, Nationwide Arena. The venue is owned by the taxpayers of Columbus and Franklin County, and the hockey team uses it rent-free. 

The ticket tax goes into effect on July 1. But the Blue Jackets are telling season ticket holders that if they commit to buying season tickets before then, they won’t have to pay the tax.  

Do you have a suggestion for Snollygoster?  Send emails to snollygoster@wosu.org.

Steve Brown grew up in nearby Richwood, Ohio and now lives there with his wife and sons. He started his journalism career as a weekend board operator at WOSU while majoring in journalism at Ohio State, where he also wrote for the student newspaper The Lantern and co-founded the organization Students for Public Broadcasting.
Mike Thompson spends much of his time correcting people who mispronounce the name of his hometown – Worcester, Massachusetts. Mike studied broadcast journalism at Syracuse University when he was not running in circles – as a distance runner on the SU track team.
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