Athens, Ohio, Marijuana Decriminalization Initiative, Issue 6 (November 2017)
|Issue 6: Athens marijuana decriminalization|
|November 7, 2017|
|Local marijuana on the ballot November 7, 2017 ballot measures in Ohio Athens County, Ohio ballot measures|
A marijuana decriminalization initiative was on the ballot for Athens voters in Athens County, Ohio, on November 7, 2017. It was approved.
|A yes vote was a vote in favor of reducing penalties for marijuana misdemeanor crimes in the city of Athens.|
|A no vote was a vote against reducing penalties for marijuana misdemeanor crimes in the city of Athens.|
The official title of the initiative was The Athens Cannabis Ordinance (TACO).
As of 2017, the recreational use of marijuana was illegal in the state of Ohio, while medical marijuana was legal. The Ohio Revised Code specified that people convicted of marijuana misdemeanors pay fines and face possible jail time. People convicted for possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana faced fines up to $150 and no jail time, while people convicted for possession of 100 to 200 grams of marijuana faced fees up to $250 and up to 30 days of jail time. 
Issue 6 was designed to reduce the penalties associated with marijuana misdemeanors in Athens to the lowest penalty allowed by the state.  Athens is the sixth city in Ohio to pass a marijuana decriminalization measure.
The Athens Cannabis Ordinance was first proposed in 2016, but it failed to make the ballot by two signatures. 
- 1 Election results
- 2 Measure design
- 3 Text of measure
- 3.1 Ballot question
- 3.2 Full text
- 4 Support
- 5 Opposition
- 6 Background
- 7 Path to the ballot
- 8 Recent news
- 9 See also
- 10 External links
- 11 Footnotes
Election results from The Athens Messenger
Issue 6 was designed to reduce penalties—including fines and court costs—for the following marijuana misdemeanors in the city of Athens: 
- Possession of up to 200 grams of marijuana and up to 10 grams of hash
- Cultivation of up to 200 grams of marijuana
- Gifts of up to 20 grams of marijuana
- Possession and sale of paraphernalia
Text of measure
The ballot question was as follows: 
Shall the City of Athens adopt the Athens Cannabis Ordinance, which lowers the penalty for misdemeanor marijuana offenses to lowest penalty allowed by the state law? 
The full text of the measure is available here.
The Athens Cannabis Ordinance (TACO) campaign was formed to place Issue 6 on the ballot through a citizen petition.
Writing on behalf of TACO in The Athens News, Caleb Brown said: “TACO is not legalization or even decriminalization: marijuana remains illegal. A better term is de-penalization, or removing penalties. It changes fines to $0 for misdemeanors. . The stated purpose of TACO is not to reduce fines but rather to redirect law-enforcement resources toward more serious and violent crimes.”  Brown also stated that Issue 6 would reduce the incentive for city police to enforce marijuana laws and that it would reduce fear for people using marijuana recreationally. 
Athens City Councilman Patrick McGee stated in a public forum on October 10, 2017, that he supported Issue 6.
Athens City Councilman Peter Kotses and council candidate Sarah Grace said in a public forum on October 10, 2017, that they opposed Issue 6. Both stated that they were concerned for students at Ohio University, echoing concerns laid out by Athens Law Director Lisa Eliason when TACO was first proposed in 2016. Kotses and Grace said that Issue 6 would affect the city of Athens and the Athens Police Department, but it would not affect the Ohio University Police Department, operating under the statewide Ohio Revised Code. Kotses said that students could be confused by the regulations, and, if charged with a misdemeanor on campus, they would be penalized and could lose federal financial aid. Grace added that Ohio University police wrote more citations than city police. 
Toledo was the first city in Ohio to pass a local marijuana decriminalization measure in 2015. In 2016, Bellaire, Logan, Newark, and Roseville passed similar measures reducing the penalties for marijuana misdemeanors. 
Path to the ballot
This measure was put on the ballot through a successful initiative petition campaign.
The link below is to the most recent stories in a Google news search for the terms Athens Local marijuana Issue 6. These results are automatically generated from Google. Ballotpedia does not curate or endorse these articles.
Ballotpedia: The Encyclopedia of American Politics
Election: Ohio City Completely Depenalizes Marijuana
Athens, Ohio: The Athens Cannabis Ordinance – better known as “TACO” – to completely remove all penalties for possessing, cultivating, and gifting of up to 200 grams of marijuana was approved by voters on election day by a vote of 77 percent to 23 percent.
In November 2016, four Ohio municipalities – Newark, Logan, Roseville, and Bellaire – passed similar depenalization ballot measures. Under Ohio state law, minor marijuana possession offenses are classified as a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a fine, but no jail time or criminal record.
“Voters overwhelmingly approved of TACO because the continued criminalization of adult marijuana use is out-of-step with the views of the vast majority of adults in the United States, 64 percent of whom now endorse legalizing and regulating cannabis,” said Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director. “While politicians continue to drag their feet, citizens are showing leadership at the local and state level in jurisdictions where the ability to achieve marijuana reform is possible at the ballot box.”
77% to 23″%–prohibitionists are definitely having a sad tonight.
And it’s not going to get any better. It’s encouraging to see the people taking this issue to the polls rather than waiting for career politicians to get off their backsides.
Ohio just needs to legalize it and get it over with already
This morning, on Morning Joe, Joe said that Hannity on Fox News spent six (6) seconds–SECONDS–on the election last night. It’s pretty apparent Fox News must keep its loyal watchers ignorant . . . It seems they’re very easily shaken. (Even my Fox-watching Mother-in-Law, I found out from my wife, occasionally switches over to CNN and MSNBC for actual news!!) Why would a network that is so obviously a propaganda organ for one major US political party be allowed to have a license?
Because theres a war on Christmas, Bud! Not a War on drugs or poor people! At least thats what Fox “news” told me…
It is amazing that people who watch fox news for the daily news are actually committing wilful ignorance while thinking that they are getting the real news, the correct news, the actual facts and the president of the united states verifies this to them every day! Damn I wish i was wrong about this.
I feel your pain, honestly. But let’s not forget: the truth — the actual, honest-to-god truth of any given question or subject or topic — is real, and facts do matter in the real world.
This is where we must keep our eye on the ball, and pursue the truth. Nobody is claiming to be a saint or a mystic here; all that’s required is a basic respect for the truth. You don’t need a halo or a title for that.
We must not fall for the distractions of the alt-right freak show, and simply shrug, and say “Who knows?” If we do, we become their rubes and suckers. We do know.
We know that any “information” that comes from the Trump swamp is propaganda and horseshit, categorically. We know that. We also know, those who choose to live in a fantasy world always do so at their own peril. Eventually, they will get their tails twisted; the real world doesn’t fuck around!
Everyone loves weed friend. Relax
Dear Sir or Madam, hope Kentucky get in line with other states. I’m a Disable Veteran with Panic Attacks Agorphobia and also have son deemed Helpless child by Veterans adminstration. What can I do to get it on the ballot box,County,State! I know it’s a first step but maybe future generations will come to realize that it’s should be mainstream. I’m Retired from Department of Defense early and I know it’s the silent majority that must stand up, anything helps the helpless and Disable Veterans should me Mainstream. Sincerely Dennis Ray Mullins Retired Department of Defense World’s Airborne Air Assault Youngest Graduate of the 101ST Screaming Eagles ??
Please due to the Privacy Act of 1973, I appreciate this to be confidential if not please remove my message. I have been suffering so long with Medical issues that one day if it were legalized, you never know if Dr prescribed it I be willing try anything than being stranded by Agorphobia and constant Panic Attacks. Sincerely, God Bless Everyone ??
Dennis, I feel for you. I’d suggest that you try to move out of Kentucky–except for the agoraphobia.
A quick glance at NORML’s scorecard shows that your state has two GOPers (B+) and a Dem (B), who are sympathetic to those with medical afflictions; unfortunately, your state also has an F (McConnell) and 4 D’s (all Republicans).
The good news is that even Republican-controlled states are slowly starting to move toward MMJ legalization. Hopefully, it won’t take too long.
What in the hell is going on over at Breitbart that creates monsters like Roy Moore who is apparently so full of hubris he thinks admitting to dating underaged girls wont affect the outcome of the election of Jeff Sessions former Senate seat?
At this point I dont know what would be worse for the Republican identity or marijuana prohibition; if Moore wins or loses.
Replacing our most prohibitionist Senator with a Democratic civil rights hero would be ideal. But between the Republican crosscheck program, caging minority votes and Gerrymandering still undecided in the Supreme Court I was resigned that a split vote meant Roy would win.
But after what happened in Virginia and with this latest scandal I’m not so sure. Virginia has the crosscheck program and Republicans still lost.
I still can’t believe it.
And these women didn’t seek the press and theyre not out for money. Post investigators were just doing their job in Alabama and following a lead and it took 4 interviews before the woman admitted to being only 14 when Moore had a sexual encounter with her. Thats not legal even in backwoods Alabama.
And no, that does NOT make Roy Moore like Mary and Joseph you lobotomized Moore supporters. When Jesus was born to young Mary people were lucky to live to their 30’s much less send their 14 year old daughters to school where they belong.
This internal Republican war from Bannon is proving to be the best thing that ever happened to Democrats and marijuana reform.
Of course Trump taints the Republican party even if he doesnt endorse a candidate. Or does. Or whatever disasterous thing he does from one minute to the next. Now R’s are too busy running from indictments and scandals to run for office. The Mercer backed candidates turn out to be so racist, so vulgar, uncompromising on gun policy or marijuana policy that even in the most gerrymandered, voter caging red districts in America that engaged, Democratic marijuana reformers have a real chance at winning.
It’s sad we have to get this scared and angry to vote and participate. We should make voting mandatory to be American. But only after we put civics back in the core curriculum and educate our 14-year-olds because this nation has too many stupid people who can vote. Please prove me wrong Alabama.
In regards to your comment about the Virginia election, Julian, I have a strong suspicion that the Dem’s victories there this past week have something to do with that state’s new use of paper ballots. Democratic Governors should take notice. Republicans are afraid of fair, legitimate elections.
It speaks volumes that the GOP has to resort to all these tricks in order to win some elections, including crosscheck and other voter suppression tactics. They know that in fair, legitimate elections and processes they wouldn’t have the hold they currently do in some of the states.
True indeed Bud. Latest polls show the 2dimensional character and prosecutor-villain-pedophile Roy Moore down by 4 or 5 points. Amazing to watch establishment Republicans beg Sessions to take his old job back. Of course being AG for Big Pharma is apl he ever dreamed about. All he can think about is Dec 8th when the Rogeabacher-Blumenauer amendment expires and then we’ll be seeing crackdowns everywhere from pushing mmj patients out of their wheelchairs to busting Whole Foods for CBD oil!
Here is a link to reach Representative Culverson who sits on the committee that decides wherher the Rohrabacher-Blunenauer amendment will continue to protect mmj patients and the commercial marijuana industry by denying funds to the DOJ for crackdowns:
What really stood out to me in Sessions’ testimony to Congress yesterday was how he was like “I don’t remember Russians but since you reminded me about me meeting Russians I would have remembered you reminding me because I remember pushing back on collusion in the election and thats why I remember not to remember.”
WTF? Hubris! Sessions is going to get indicted.
Several members of congress, fortunately, noticed Sessions’ sudden memory jog too. Sessions seems to be as tangled in that scandal as those other slime balls. I know that we can’t depend on Sessions being too distracted by all of this stuff to concentrate on his prohibitionist wishes, but it is fun watching him squirm as he gets called out on his lies. Maybe he’ll be tempted to resign . . .
Not until he gets indicted, Bud. Which Mueller has the power to consider since among Sessions’ many lies under oath he is NOT recusing himself from the Russia investigation, or even opening a pathetic attempt to distract Mueller with an illegal investigation of the Clinton Foundation. We’ll never see smoke without fire, revealed by desire to be a liar.
For now this seems like very good news.
I still worry however since President Trump really seems to like Phillipine President Duterte who is responsible for 10s of thousands of murders of drug users and sellers; including user of marijuana.
It is just disgusting that any American president could possibly embrace such evil… But then, Trump is no ordinary president and I’m sure we can all agree on that!
How cool for people who don’t have jobs to not have to worry about being charged with a crime, we know they can’t pay a fine. Now they can get high while living in the woods without worrying about society getting in the way. Wonder how they get the money to buy the “legal” pot, maybe robbing senior citizens at bus stops. Great job norml, the drug tested working man will pickup the tab, while bums get high
If you took the time to review this webpage and participate in taking action on one of several links available on the ACT tab before biting the norml hand that feeds your desire to free workplace discrimination of marijuana consumers I would not have to post this comment and remind you of how lazy you are. Search with your heart and eyes, not with your lazy @$$.
Alright, that was a bit “on the nose.” (Or up the @$$, whatever).
Here’s a link for what NORML is doing to combat workplace discrimination of off-the-job marijuana consumers:
You might be surprised at the progress being made. The case of Barbuto v. Adavantage Sales & Marketing in the SCJ Court of Mass. already awarded damages to a woman fired for off the job mmj consumption a couple of months ago. Anger and venting alone won’t get you the facts. We all have to search continuously for the truth.
I only wish someone at Normal would answer me about this coalition. I am very interested in donating money, skill, and time to this in particular,but the post you linked is the only news I can get and no line will answer my emails–not even the Normal rep who asked me to send him a line in the comments of that post. There needs to be a lot more info and update on this, esp since out affects users and non-users.
Give the guys some time to answer your email, Demonhype. They’re overworked and underpaid.
Their email contacts were at the end of the post:
In my humble opinion Barbuto v. Advantage Sales and Marketing set a new bar for Federal courts. The award$ this woman walked off with alone get some raised eyebrows in the private insurance heirarchy. But it won’t add up to the kickbacks these workplace insurance carriers get from the piss-industry until we are prepared to encourage more law suits for workplace discrimination of off-the-job marijuana consumers.
The most remarkable thing about the Barbuto case is that the SCJ Judge of Mass. not only referred to voter initiated law in the final statements, but used mmj amendments made by the state legislature to represent legislatively enacted law by “a majority of citizens.”
That means that when prohibitionists got greedy and passed legislation to delay mj legalization in Mass., they were providing a federal judge precisely what was missing to defeat the supremacy clause in federal court; legislatively enacted marijuana law.
Its been since February. I asked in that post and got an email, and I’ve used the other ones too. I’m just so stoked about furthering this issue, after years of being told I’m a dangerous idiot for my opposition of drug testing, but every time it lookalike there might be allies it turns out to be a false alarm.
You are obviously an idiot because what else could explain that comment you made. I’ll bet you support the con artist known as Trump,
Scott, no comments on the “homeless freeloaders” using opioids or alcohol? Only pot? Your selective outrage automatically forfeits your opinion. You, Scott, are a prohibitionist hack.
All MSM do one sided news.CNN is a joke,opinions&lies.Try OANN.Atleast you can decide whats real.ONE AMERICAN NEWS NETWORK.
circular argument based on false assumptions
and basic ignorance.. if anywhere near truth,
your ‘bums’ would already be an epidemic of
‘robbing senior citizens’ to pay for addictive
nicotine, alcohol, opioids etc..
you are smelling 5hit because your head
is up your own @$$ looking for answers..
i am a veteran who has used cannabis to cure
– thats ‘cure – temporal lobe grand mal
epilepsy.. cannabinoids of canabis with
our brains’ endo cannaboid system can
and have cured this aweful disease..
open your eyes, look at the realities here,
including real massive costs to law enforcement
the courts and prison systems to imprison
otherwise normal nonviolent citizens,
for using this natural god given herb..
Election: Ohio City Completely Depenalizes Marijuana Athens, Ohio : The Athens Cannabis Ordinance – better known as “TACO” – to completely remove all penalties for possessing, cultivating, and