The possession, sale, trafficking, and cultivation of marijuana is illegal in most states, although the federal government still considers it illegal throughout the nation. In addition, a growing number of states is allowing for the medicinal use of marijuana by those who have obtained a physician's recommendation.
Recreational use of marijuana remains illegal (but decriminalized) in Ohio, although the state does allow medical use of the herb. House Bill 523, which took effect on Sept. 8, 2016, established the basic framework for medical marijuana in the state. While there are no dispensaries set up, eligible patients my obtain a state-issued patient identification card to use as an affirmative defense.
Ohio has substantially loosened its marijuana laws in general. The possession of less than 100 grams (roughly 3.5 ounces) of cannabis, or the transfer of less than 20 grams (i.e. giving it so someone else), are considered "minor misdemeanors." This means these are not jailable offenses, but are punishable by up to $150 in fines and a possible driver's license suspension for a period of six months to five years.
Felony charges are reserved for the possession of more than 200 grams; the sale or transfer of more than 20 grams; or the possession of more than 10 grams of hashish (or more than 2 grams of liquid concentrates). A conviction on charges of drugged driving carries a penalty of between three days and six months in prison, plus a six-month to three-year driver's license suspension.
The following charts highlights the main provisions of Ohio marijuana laws. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section for more articles and resources.
|Code Section||2925.01, et seq.; 3719.01, et seq.|
|Possession||Under 20 g. and gift: minor misdemeanor; Subsequent offense: misdemeanor of 3rd degree; Under 100 g.: minor misdemeanor; 100-200 g.: 4th degree misdemeanor; 200-1000 g.: 5th degree felony; 1000-5000 g.: 3rd degree felony; 5000-20,000 g.: 3rd degree felony with presumption of prison term; over 20,000 g.: 2nd degree felony|
|Sale||5th degree felony; 200-1000 g.: 4th degree felony; 1000-5000 g.: 3rd degree felony; 5000-20,000 g.: 3rd degree felony with presumption of prison term; Over 20,000 g.: 2nd degree felony; Stricter penalties if sale within 1000 ft. of school or 100 ft. of juvenile|
Eligible patients may possess up to a 90-day supply of marijuana, but may not cultivate their own. While the sale of marijuana remains illegal, the state Board of Pharmacy will license a limited number of growers and retail dispensaries.
For more information, visit the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program's official website.
Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Ohio drug crime attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
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Ohio Marijuana Laws: Related Resources
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Although Ohio allows qualifying patients to use marijuana for approved medical purposes, recreational use of the herb remains illegal. Even possession of a small amount of marijuana can result in misdemeanor charges and taint your record. If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, you may benefit from speaking with an Ohio defense attorney.
Contact a qualified attorney.