The New York Daily News reported on a disgruntled man’s call to 911, demanding that the Sharonville Police Department return four grams of “really good weed” that the police had allegedly seized during an investigation. In the 911 call (which was shared online), the man alleged that the police took the marijuana from his wife’s purse and he wanted it back. During the call, the man revealed an incorrect statement of the law when he asked law enforcement if it was “cool” (or legal) for him to possess less than 100 grams. In Ohio, possession of any amount of marijuana for recreational purposes is illegal.
The Convoluted State of Marijuana Laws Across the Country
Over the past few years many states have loosened their restrictions on marijuana use (or abandoned them altogether). While those who believe in the “power of pot” have greeted these changes enthusiastically, the drawback is that these state-led legislative efforts have caused a patchwork of state and federal laws pertaining to marijuana use to develop. While some states have legalized even recreational usage of marijuana, the federal government still considers marijuana an illegal drug. A person may legally purchase marijuana for recreational use in Colorado but be charged with possession of marijuana if he or she brought any of it back home to Ohio.
Marijuana Laws in Ohio: What is Legal and What is Not
In 2016, the Ohio Legislature passed House Bill 523 which permitted individuals with certain health conditions to possess up to a 90-day supply of marijuana at any one time for medicinal purposes so long as the patient and doctor were both registered and approved to do so. In addition, the medicinal marijuana must be obtained from a licensed and registered dispensary in Ohio. No one is permitted to grow marijuana in their own home, even if it is being grown for personal medicinal use.
What is more, individuals who do not have a qualifying condition and/or are not registered patients are not permitted to possess marijuana, whether possessed for medicinal use or recreational use. There are only 21 qualifying conditions: someone diagnosed with anxiety disorder or autism cannot (legally) possess or use marijuana, as neither condition has been recognized as a qualifying condition. Even if marijuana helps individuals with these conditions manage their symptoms, any possession would be considered illegal.
Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Ohio
Possession of small amounts of marijuana (under 100 grams) are punishable by a small fine only: no jail time is required. A person found in possession of over 100 grams of marijuana will be facing up to30 days in jail and up to a $250 fine. The potential fine and period of incarceration increase as the weight of marijuana increases. A person found in possession of over 40,000 grams of marijuana, for instance, can face a fine of up to $20,000 and at least eight years in prison. There are other, similarly-serious penalties for individuals convicted of selling or cultivating marijuana (both potentially-illegal activities except for, by way of example, a licensed dispensary distributing marijuana to registered patients who present a valid prescription from a licensed physician).
Charged with a Marijuana Offense? Get Experienced Legal Help Right Away
Marijuana possession in Ohio may not seem like a serious offense, but certain individuals may be facing charges or told they must serve periods of incarceration when such penalties would not apply. Get knowledgeable assistance and representation for your marijuana charges. Contact Dawes Legal, LLC and let us provide you with accurate advice and professional representation. Call our office today at (614) 733-9999.