Group honors man behind Ohio decriminalization law

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — A national organization that favors relaxed U.S. drug laws is honoring a Columbus-born businessman and philanthropist for decades of work toward its cause.

Former Columbus media executive Richard M. Wolfe spearheaded a 1976 state law that reduced possession of small amounts of marijuana to a misdemeanor.

Ethan Nadelmann, executive director of the Drug Policy Alliance, along with ex-lawmakers involved in the decriminalization effort, planned to recognize Wolfe at a downtown Columbus restaurant Thursday for 40 years of contributions "toward enlightened drug policies."

The 80-year-old Wolfe now lives in San Francisco.

Among Wolfe's charitable activities as president of WBNS-TV in the 1970s was chairing the Franklin County Mental Health Board.

The alliance says that's where Wolfe first learned of problems drug users faced with the justice system and sought reform.

©2014 by The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.