Issue 2 legalized recreational marijuana in Ohio, meaning adults 21 and older can soon buy, possess, and grow marijuana.
What is Issue 2?
The new law will:
- Allow the sale and purchase of marijuana, which will be regulated by a new Division of Cannabis Control
- Allow adults 21+ to use and possess marijuana
- Adults can possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates
- Individuals can grow up to 6 marijuana plants at home and households can cultivate up to 12 plants
- Enact a 10% tax on marijuana in addition to Ohio’s sales tax
When Will Issue 2 Take Effect?
Although Ohioans approved Issue 2 on November 7, the law does not go into effect until December 7. This means the law is still subject to change in the next month.
Ohio dispensaries will not sell products immediately. The state has nine months to issue the first round of licenses to marijuana growers, processors, and dispensaries. Licenses will go to existing medical marijuana businesses and participants in Ohio’s social equity program, which was created by the new law.
It is still illegal to transport marijuana across state lines (including Ohio’s neighbor Kentucky, where recreational marijuana is still illegal).
Can I Smoke Marijuana in Public?
Public use of marijuana is still limited by the state’s smoking ban, which prohibits people from smoking in enclosed areas open to the public (with the exception of outdoor patios, smoke shops, and rooms designated for smoking). Violating this law could result in a minor misdemeanor.
However, the new law also states that as of December 7, property owners and “any public place” can decide their own marijuana policies.
Can I Drive High in Ohio?
Driving high in Ohio is still illegal according to the state’s OVI law. You may not operate a vehicle (car, bike, boat, or airplane) under the influence of alcohol, drugs, or both, including marijuana.
The consequences for a marijuana OVI are the same as an alcohol OVI in Ohio and could result in:
- Suspended drivers license for 1 to 3 years
- Jail term of 3 to 180 days
- Fine of $375 to $1,075
To prove your guilt, the prosecution must prove beyond a reasonable doubt you were under the influence of marijuana at the time you operated the vehicle, which is more difficult to prove than alcohol because cannabis stays in your blood and urine longer. Read about the flaws in breath, blood, and urine tests here.
- Comply with the officer’s requests, i.e. retrieve your license and registration, get out of the vehicle if asked, etc.
- You have the right to remain silent. Do not answer any questions. Instead, tell the officer, “I want to speak to an attorney before I say or do anything.”
- Do not consent to a search of your vehicle.
- Do not perform any breath, blood, or urine tests or sobriety/chemical tests.
Are you or someone you know facing drug charges or DUI/OVI charges?
If you are facing drug charges or DUI charges, you need to speak with an experienced defense attorney as soon as possible. The Law Offices of Steven R. Adams is recognized by Super Lawyers, Best Lawyers, The Best Lawyers in America, National Trial Lawyers Top 100, and is one of U.S. News' Best Law Firms. Please contact us online or call our Cincinnati office directly at 513-929-9333 for a free phone consultation.