Ohio Attorney General Warns Toledo Could become Drug Cartel Center Due to Marijuana-Friendly Law Passed by Voters

Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine

A new ordinance in Toledo, Ohio, that cuts sentences for marijuana use and possession will turn the city into a haven for drug cartels, according to that state’s attorney general.


The “Sensible Marihuana Ordinance,” which was passed last month by voters 11,663 to 4,911, eliminated the punishments for possessing and trafficking marijuana, making the crime either a minor drug offense or a fifth-degree drug felony.


Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine responded to the election by filing a lawsuit (pdf) in state court to get the ordinance thrown out. Not only are provisions of the new law illegal, according to DeWine, the “ordinance encourages drug cartels to set up marijuana distribution operations in Toledo with less fear of prison or penalties.


“Absent legal action, it is not hard to imagine international drug rings making Toledo their regional base of operations,” DeWine said in a press release.


In addition to altering penalties for marijuana crimes, the ordinance reduced the penalty for being caught with controlled substances such as painkillers or steroids. It even prevents police officers from reporting marijuana crimes to anyone other than the city attorney.


Toledo was able to pass the ordinance because it’s subject to Ohio’s Home Rule Amendment (pdf), which gives some cities the right to change how some crimes are charged.

-Noel Brinkerhoff


To Learn More:

Ohio AG Fights New Toledo Marijuana Law (by David Wells, Courthouse News Service)

Attorney General Mike DeWine Sues Toledo over Marijuana Decriminalization Law (by Jackie Borchardt, Northeast Ohio Media Group)

Ohio Sues Toledo over Marijuana Decriminalization Ordinance (by Mary Wisniewski, Reuters)

State of Ohio, et al, v. City of Toledo, et al (Court of Common Pleas, Lucas County, Ohio) (pdf)

Mexican Drug Cartels Threatened by Medical Marijuana Laws in U.S. (by Justin Tang, AllGov)


Kevin Hunt 8 years ago
DeWine is a liar.  Legalization still enjoys majority support in Colorado.  He spent his time talking to a handful of people who were opposed to legalization before it passed.  Of course an Attorney General is opposed to legalization....fewer non-violent offenders to pack the private prisons with.

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