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Will Ohio legalize medical marijuana?

Marijuana Growing Room

Learn about Ohio’s drug laws and penalties from a Columbus DUI lawyer.

While the push to put a medical marijuana before Ohio voters failed on July 2, Ohio Rights Group president John Pardee says supporters of the Ohio Cannabis Rights Amendment plan to continue circulating petitions in hopes of making the ballot in 2015.

Although Washington State and Colorado legalized pot for recreational use last year, Ohio’s amendment doesn’t go that far.

The petition would allow state residents ages 18 and over to grow, process and purchase therapeutic cannabis to treat debilitating medical conditions, including chronic pain. The amendment would create a nine-member panel to license, regulate and control medical marijuana use—making Ohio the twenty-first state to legalize the drug for medical use.

While some consider pot a natural way to medicate, others believe weed is worse than alcohol and even a gateway to more dangerous drugs like heroin. In fact, 14 percent of Americans revealed in a recent Quinnipiac University survey that they believe marijuana is even more dangerous than alcohol, while 47 percent see it as just as dangerous.

Still, almost nine in 10 between both genders think marijuana should be legal for medical uses.

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The survey also found:

  • 87 percent of Ohio voters support the legalization of marijuana for medical use
  • 51 percent of voters support legalization of marijuana for recreational use
  • 59 percent of male voters in the state support legalization of the substance for personal use
  • 51 percent of female voters oppose legalization of marijuana for personal use
  • 72 percent of 18-29 year old voters support personal marijuana use
  • 65 percent of voters over 65 are opposed to legalization of recreational marijuana
  • 55 percent of Ohio voters say they have never tried marijuana

Ohio’s marijuana laws

However, until new laws are passed in Ohio, possession of marijuana is still very much a punishable offense.

Possession of less than 100 grams (or about 3.5 ounces), giving 20 grams or less of marijuana to another person, or growing less than 100 grams of marijuana are each considered minor misdemeanors, punishable by a maximum $150 fine. While you won’t go to jail for a minor misdemeanor, your driver’s license can be suspended from six months to five years for any drug conviction.

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    Sale or distribution of less than 200 grams carries a penalty of six to 18 months in jail

  • Sale or distribution of 200 grams or more is punishable by one to five years in prison
  • Sale or distribution of 600 grams or more carries a mandatory minimum sentence of six months and a possible two to eight year sentence
  • Sale to minors, sale within 1,000 feet of a school, sale within 100 feet of a juvenile, and previous felony drug convictions all increase the penalty for the sale or distribution of marijuana.
  • Possession of paraphernalia is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and sale of paraphernalia is punishable by up to 90 days in jail.

Find a Columbus criminal defense lawyer for your marijuana possession charges

If you have been charged with a drug crime in Ohio, it’s important to find a criminal defense lawyer experienced with drug-related offenses. If you or someone you know is facing drug possession charges in Ohio, contact our Columbus criminal defense attorneys at 614-224-6142 or fill out our contact form.

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Click here to learn about  Stephen Palmer’s 19 years of Columbus criminal defense work.

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