Voters in Ohio city OK measure decriminalizing marijuana

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NEWARK, Ohio (AP) — Voters in central Ohio have approved a measure eliminating criminal penalties for possessing smaller amounts of marijuana.

The Columbus Dispatch reports that 53 percent of Newark voters approved decriminalizing possession of less than 200 grams of marijuana, about 7 ounces. The new law says possessing less than 200 grams in Newark is a minor misdemeanor subject to no fines, jail or probation.

Possession of less than 100 grams is a minor misdemeanor under Ohio law that could result in a fine and loss of driving privileges.

A backer of Newark’s law says it will allow police to concentrate on the city’s heroin and opiate problem. She says the measure addresses discrepancies between Newark and Ohio law.

Newark is a city of about 48,000 people 40 miles east of Columbus.

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