The Prevalence of Misdemeanor Marijuana Possession Records in Columbus, Ohio
Drug Enforcement and Policy Center, August 2022
6 Pages Posted: 19 Aug 2022 Last revised: 13 Jan 2023
Date Written: August 17, 2022
In the United States, an estimated 1 in 3 adult Americans have some sort of a criminal record. Yet, there is a dearth of research that examines the prevalence of particular types of criminal history. Identifying the prevalence of particular types of criminal history is necessary not only for the design of efficacious rights restoration mechanisms, but also to facilitate the review and assessment of the functioning of these mechanisms once in place. Efforts to legalize or decriminalize marijuana in many jurisdictions have often included discussion of the importance of providing enhanced relief mechanisms for those with records for low-level marijuana offenses. But these discussions often lack details on how many individuals, and the composition of individuals, who might benefit from such record relief. In this report, we estimate the prevalence of misdemeanor marijuana possession charges and conviction records among adult residents of Columbus, Ohio based on data drawn from the Franklin County Municipal Court and provide policy recommendations for implementing localized government-initiated record sealing initiatives.
Keywords: marijuana misdemeanor, marijuana charges and convictions, prevalence of misdemeanor record, marijuana misdemeanor record, racial disparity in marijuana records, government-initiated record sealing, automated record sealing, local record sealing initiatives, Columbus, Ohio
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