What are the penalties for marijuana possession in Ohio?
Answered by: Jon J. Saia
In Ohio, it is a crime to intentionally or knowingly possess marijuana (except for persons authorized to possess medical marijuana). Like many other states, the penalties for possessing marijuana (sale, cultivation or possession of paraphernalia are not discussed in this article) depend on the amount of the drug possessed. Generally, possession penalties are as follows:
- Up to 100 grams: The Ohio legislature has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Violations in this range are minor misdemeanors, meaning that there is no jail time involved and convictions are not included on a person’s a criminal record. However, violators may be fined up to $150.
- 100 to 200 grams: Possession of marijuana in this weight range carries a misdemeanor charge with fines up to $250 and up to 30 days of incarceration.
- 200 to 1,000 grams: Possession of this amount and above is a felony charge. Violators face fines of up to $2,500 and 1 year in jail.
- 1,000 to 20,000 grams: Penalties include fines of between $5,000 and $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
- 20,000 to 40,000 grams: Penalties include a minimum of five years in prison (maximum of eight years) and between $7,500 and $15,000 in fines.
- 40,000 grams or more: Violators may be fined between $10,000 and $20,000 and incarceration for a minimum of eight years.
In addition to the above penalties, persons convicted of possessing more than 100 grams of marijuana face suspension of their drivers’ licenses for up to five years (minimum of six months).
Like a growing number of states, Ohio has legalized the possession of medical marijuana. Accordingly, persons possessing marijuana in compliance with the requirements of Ohio’s medical marijuana laws, or the laws of another state (e.g. possessing an out-of-state medical marijuana card), may possess up to a 90-day supply of marijuana (the actual amount has not been defined) without fear of a possession conviction.
However, Ohio’s medical marijuana laws offer no defense against charges for operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI) of marijuana. This means that medical marijuana users can still be charged and convicted of OVI if caught driving while under the influence of their prescribed marijuana.
If you are charged with marijuana possession, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help reduce the severity of the charges you face and help you obtain the best available outcome.
Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.
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Ohio Marijuana Laws
Created byВ FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors | Last updated March 26, 2018
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.
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 Law
- Official State Codes – Links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and DC.
Ohio Marijuana Laws: Related Resources
Ohio Marijuana Charges? Call a Local Attorney Today
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.
Chart providing details of Ohio Marijuana Laws