The City of Dayton is asking voters to consider a ballot initiative next Tuesday. The measure would decriminalize certain misdemeanor offenses for marijuana and hashish. City officials are calling Issue 8 an “advisory election.” If voters approve the measure, it simply means that the city would be free to consider amending Dayton law.
Passage could open the door in the future to decriminalizing certain misdemeanor marijuana and hashish offenses. The move would require city officials to make changes to the Revised Code of General Ordinances.
“It was presented to the commission by some citizens and that resulted in the mayor and the commission looking at this issue to determine if it’s something the city should adopt,” says Martin Gehres, the assistant city attorney for Dayton.
“And so the city really is wondering what the residents of the city believe and how they would like us to police the issue.”
Gehres says if Issue 8 is approved by the voters, city officials will still have a lot to do before any changes are made to the ordinance code.
“After the vote, the commission has vowed that they will discuss policy changes and implementation with the Dayton Police Department and other policing authorities in the City of Dayton.”
Dayton police officials aren't yet commenting on Issue 8 and its potential implications for the city. But, barring any major pushback, if Issue 8 passes the commission could then move to change its marijuana and hashish policy.
Current laws dictate that possession of two grams of liquid hashish and 10 grams of solid hashish are misdemeanor offenses, as is possession of up to 100 grams of pot.
Possessing amounts higher than these would be considered felony offenses. That legal threshold would not change.