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TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -
A petition drive is underway in Toledo to decriminalize the use of marijuana. It's called The Sensible Marijuana Ordinance.
The ordinance is being pushed by the local chapter of NORML-The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. Members went out on primary day and began gathering signatures to put the measure before voters. NORML emphasizes passage will not legalize pot in Toledo, only decriminalize it.
The ordinance would reduce all marijuana offenses to the lowest possible charge allowed by state law, which in many cases is a minor misdemeanor.
"We're ready now as citizens to have a fresh, mature discussion about the pros and cons of marijuana use and how our laws reflect that," said Sean Nestor of NORML.
Supporters claim pot usage is a non-violent crime. In addition, a recent Quinnipiac poll shows Ohio voters are more acceptable of pot.
"We need to focus more on the home invasions, violent crime, shooting and more serious epidemic of drugs going out on the street," said Mary Smith of NORML.
NORML adds the Toledo ordinance is about one thing only and that's personal choice.
"Most of the people that do use marijuana use it for good purposes, whether it be stress issues or serious medical issues and are generally responsible people," said Smith.
NORML's goal is to place the ordinance on the November ballot. 6600 signatures are necessary. So far, 2800 have been collected.