Ohio Marijuana Decriminalization Laws Expanded
Updated: Sep 4, 2020
In a 24-5 vote, the Ohio Senate passed a bill that will decriminalize an expanded amount of possessed marijuana and reduce criminal penalties for additional drug crimes.
The existing Ohio law states that it is a minor misdemeanor for possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana. Individuals in possession are penalized with a citation and a $150 fine. Under the new bill, SB 3, the amount of marijuana that is decriminalized is now doubled. Although possession of small amounts of marijuana will still remain illegal in Ohio, any individuals who are found possessing up to 200 grams of marijuana will not be arrested or receive any jail time. However, those individuals will still be given a civil citation and have to pay the monetary fine. By law, officers are only supposed to arrest individuals for marijuana possession if they do not provide a form of identification, refuse to sign the citation, or if they present any safety or health risks.
According to Karen O’Keefe, the Marijuana Policy Project’s director of state policies, she stated that under SB 3, criminal sentences for marijuana possession will be reduced, as possession amounts are doubled under the new law.
Along with the new 200 gram limit for cannabis flower, the limit on hash would also increase from five grams to 10 grams. Any marijuana flower possession of 200 to 400 grams would be considered a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and 400 to 1,000 grams would be a first-degree misdemeanor. As for marijuana hash, possession of 10 to 20 grams would be a fourth-degree misdemeanor, and 20 to 50 grams would qualify as a first-degree misdemeanor. Any possession over the new decriminalized limits would still result in punishment such as arrest, potential jail time, and a criminal record.
Executive director of the Justice Action Network, Holly Harris, stated that this new bill will help reduce the population in prisons which will lessen the health and safety risks of individuals during the Coronavirus pandemic. She also said that it will save up to $75 million in taxpayer dollars and will help abolish unnecessary communications for minor drug offenses with the criminal justice systems.
With medical marijuana legal in Ohio, having your medical marijuana card allows patients to possess, consume and transport marijuana in the state of Ohio. If you are interested in geting approved for medical marijuana and would like to schedule an appointment, please call us at 866-457-5559.
If you are a qualifying patient who is suffering from one of the qualifying conditions and is seeking medical marijuana treatment, schedule a telemedicine evaluation, and gain access to Ohio dispensaries.
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