Marijuana Law

What are the penalties for marijuana / weed possession in Ohio?

  • Possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor in Ohio. This means that you cannot receive any jail time for the offense. You can only receive a max fine of $150.
  • Possession of 100 grams to less than 200 grams is a 4th degree misdemeanor. You can receive jail time of up to 30 days for this offense.
  • Any possession of 200 grams of marijuana or more is a felony. This will affect your ability to own and possess a firearm.

Is hemp legal in Ohio?

  • Yes. Possession of Hemp in Ohio is legal.
  • Marijuana / Weed is different from Hemp in Ohio. Ohio Senate Bill 57 was enacted on July 30, 2019 and defined hemp.
  • Hemp is defined as a Cannabis Sativa with 0.3 percent THC or less.

How does the new Hemp law in Ohio affect criminal cases and police searches?

  • It can make a huge difference because police often use the smell of marijuana as probable cause to search a person’s vehicle.
  • Besides sending the marijuana / hemp to a lab, there is no way for the police to differentiate between the two.
    • There is not a field test that the police can use
    • Hemp and marijuana look the same
    • Hemp and marijuana have the same smell, both burned and unburned
    • Police dogs cannot tell the difference between hemp and marijuana. The dogs are only trained to detect THC, which is present in both plants.
  • Because the police cannot differentiate the two without sending the plant off to a lab, it affects their ability gain probable cause at the scene of a traffic stop.
    • Because hemp is legal, they need to be able to differentiate the two to show evidence of an illicit drug crime.

Does the legalization of Hemp in Ohio mean that the police can’t search my car if they smell marijuana / weed?

  • This is currently a gray area. Since the law is so new, there haven’t been many cases that have addressed this issue.
  • The logical answer to this question should be that cops will not have probable cause to search your vehicle based on the smell of marijuana / weed. If a vehicle is searched based on the smell of marijuana / weed, it should be illegal and the evidence found should be suppressed.
  • However, many judges in Ohio likely won’t be willing to rule this way. The police use the smell of marijuana to search cars on a vast majority of the cases they find other illicit drugs or weapons. Therefore, this would invalidate a vast majority of vehicle searches in the state of Ohio.
  • Regardless, you need to an attorney who is willing to challenge these searches and fight for you. Meis Law has experience challenging these searches and making the prosecutors work to prove their case. Call us now if you or someone you know had their vehicle searched because of the smell of marijuana / weed.

Does Ohio have medical marijuana?

  • Yes. A person can get a medical marijuana card in Ohio. The Ohio general assembly passed Ohio House Bill 523 on September 8, 2016. This bill enacted the medical marijuana program in Ohio.

How do I get a medical marijuana card in Ohio?

  • There are currently 21 medical conditions to qualify for a medical marijuana card in Ohio.
    • These qualified conditions are
      • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
      • Alzheimer’s disease
      • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
      • Cancer
      • CTE
      • Crohn’s disease
      • Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
      • Fibromyalgia
      • Glaucoma
      • Hepatitis C
      • Inflammatory bowel disease
      • Multiple sclerosis
      • Pain that is either of the following:
        • Chronic and severe
        • Intractable
      • Parkinson’s disease
      • HIV
      • PTSD
      • Sickle cell anemia
      • Spinal cord disease or injury
      • Tourette’s syndrome
      • Traumatic brain injury
      • Ulcerative colitis
      • Any other disease or condition added by the state medical board that they deem qualifies
        • Anxiety and Autism have been deferred for review
        • Depression, Insomnia, and Opioid addiction have generally been rejected.
      • If you have a qualifying condition, you have to meet with a certified physician and they must give you a recommendation to get a medical marijuana card.
      • You will then submit a petition to the state board of pharmacy.
      • If you are approved, you will pay $50 for your card and you will be able to buy marijuana from any dispensary in Ohio.

What forms of marijuana are allowed if I have a medical marijuana card in Ohio?

  • There are 5 forms of medical marijuana that you may buy from a dispensary
    • Oils
    • Tinctures
    • Plant material
    • Edibles
    • Patches
    • Any other form approved by the state board of pharmacy. So long as it’s not smoked.

Can I smoke medical marijuana in Ohio?

  • No. The smoking or combustion of medical marijuana is not allowed in Ohio.
  • However, the vaporization of medical marijuana is allowed in Ohio.

How strong can medical marijuana be in Ohio?

  • Plant material shall not be stronger than 35% THC
  • Extracts shall not have more than 70% THC content

If I have a medical marijuana card in Ohio, is the paraphernalia legal?

  • Yes. Paraphernalia and accessories are legal.

How much medical marijuana can I have in Ohio?

  • You cannot possess more than a 90 day supply

Can I get an OVI / DUI in Ohio for medical marijuana?

  • Yes. The OVI / DUI laws for marijuana still apply even if you have a medical marijuana card.
  • However, the police can’t use the fact that you have a medical marijuana license to ask you to do field sobriety tests. They still reasonable suspicion that you are operating the vehicle under the influence of marijuana.

Can I carry a concealed weapon in Ohio if I have a medical marijuana card in Ohio?

  • No. One restriction of carrying a concealed handgun is that you can’t be an unlawful user of, or addicted to any controlled substance defined by federal law. Marijuana is still a controlled substance under federal law. Therefore, a medical marijuana card will prevent you from carrying a concealed handgun in Ohio.
    • IMPORTANT NOTE: There has been a lot of talk of removing marijuana as a controlled substance at the federal level. If the United States Congress ever removes marijuana from the list, it will allow a person to have a medical marijuana card and carry a concealed handgun.

Can I use medical marijuana in Ohio if I’m on probation / community control?

  • It depends on your judge. Some judges specifically state that you cannot use any drugs, including medical marijuana. You will want to have your attorney confirm this with the judge before you enter into any plea. It’s possible the attorney can get the judge to allow an exception for medical marijuana.

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