By Shakyra Diaz
A criminal conviction damages a person’s present life and future prospects. From employment to housing, higher education enrollment and student loans, a criminal conviction creates so many barriers to opportunities. Given those startling facts, we can agree that a state prison system operating at 130 percent capacity is unhealthy for those incarcerated and for the state that put them there.
With early voting now underway in Ohio, the potential that marijuana may be legalized remains the hottest political topic in our state. With Colorado reporting sales of $100 million in just the last month, it’s ensured that legalization will remain on peoples’ minds here and everywhere else.
By Shakyra Diaz
Michael is 23, African-American and incarcerated because he was caught with a bag of marijuana. Now he’s a “repeat offender” because of a similar arrest years ago. He’s lost his job, freedoms, college plans, perhaps his shot at any decent future.
Almost 40 years ago, long before the issue took off around the country, Ohio legislators decriminalized the possession of marijuana up to 100 grams, a not insignificant amount. This was welcome progress, and the hope was lawmakers and police across Ohio would soon focus their attention elsewhere.
By Steve David
If you live in Ohio and are inclined to follow political news and developments, you are already aware voters will be asked in November whether or not they favor legalizing marijuana in Ohio.
What you probably do not know is Toledo voters have a similar issue on their citywide ballot.