Marijuana may be legal for recreational and medicinal use in some states, but it is still classified as an illegal substance in the state of Ohio. Under state law, it is illegal to possess, grow, sell, or otherwise use marijuana, with the penalties varying according to how much was in your possession, the number of offenses on your record, and whether you were in possession of marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school.
Penalties for Possession of Marijuana in Ohio
In Ohio, possession of marijuana is considered a crime regardless of the amount in your control. However, the state has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. Possession of up to 100 grams of marijuana (or the equivalent in solid or liquid hashish) is considered a minor misdemeanor that may result in a $150 fine, but no jail time is required, and the offense is not included on the defendant’s criminal record.
For any amount over 100 grams, the penalties increase significantly. For one thing, offenses involving more than 100 grams of marijuana can lead to driver’s license suspension for a minimum of six months and a maximum of five years.
The potential penalties for a drug possession conviction increase depending on the amount under your control:
- If you were arrested with over 100 but less than 200 grams of marijuana (or up to ten grams of solid hashish or two grams of liquid hashish), you may be charged with a fourth-degree misdemeanor and face a fine up to $250 and up to 30 days in jail.
- If you were arrested with over 200 but less than 1,000 grams of marijuana (or up to 50 grams of solid hashish or ten grams of liquid hashish), you may be charged with a fifth-degree felony and face a fine up to $2,500 and up to one year in prison.
- If you were arrested with over 1,000 but less than 20,000 grams of marijuana (or up to 1,000 grams of solid hashish or 200 grams of liquid hashish), you may be charged with a third-degree felony and face a fine up to $10,000 and up to three years in prison.
- If you were arrested with over 20,000 but less than 40,000 grams of marijuana (or up to 2,000 grams of solid hashish or 400 grams of liquid hashish), you may be charged with a second-degree felony and face a fine up to $15,000 and between five and eight years in prison.
- If you possess more than 40,000 grams of marijuana (or 2,000 grams or more of solid hashish or 400 grams or more of liquid hashish), you may be charged with a second-degree felony and face fines up to $20,000 and a mandatory eight years in prison.
Marijuana Offenses Other Than Possession
Possession isn’t the only marijuana-related offense in Ohio. The state also has laws regarding the sale and use of marijuana products, and you will need the help of an experienced attorney to build a strong legal defense against these charges:
- Cultivation. Ohio law prohibits the growing of marijuana, including knowingly planting, watering, fertilizing, or harvesting plants. Penalties vary according to the amount cultivated and whether plants were located near a school or within access of a child.
- Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. Any items used for the purpose of harvesting, processing, storing, selling, or using marijuana are illegal in Ohio. Penalties for the possession of drug paraphernalia include a fine of $150 and a possible driver’s license suspension up tp five years, while the penalties for manufacturing or selling paraphernalia include a fine of up to $750 and up to 90 days in jail.
- Trafficking. Anyone who sells marijuana, prepares marijuana for sale, or transports or ships marijuana for distribution may be charged with drug trafficking. Similar to Ohio possession laws, the carrying of up to 20 grams of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor punishable by a $150 fine. However, penalties increase depending on the amount trafficked, whether children were present, or whether trafficking took place near a school.
- Corrupting Another With Drugs. Ohio law prohibits “corruption” of another person using drugs, including forcing someone to ingest drugs or giving drugs to a minor. The crime of “corrupting another with drugs” is punishable by fines up to $5,000 and up to 18 months in jail.
Are you or someone you know facing drug charges in Cincinnati, OH?
If you are facing drug charges, you need to speak with an experienced drug crimes 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 to schedule your free consultation.