Ohio Marijuana Laws

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Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In Ohio, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, which means that it has a high potential for abuse and no generally recognized medical value. (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 3719.41.) Also, while not covered in this article, it is a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Ohio.

For information about charges and penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana in Ohio, see Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Ohio.

Marijuana Possession

It is a crime to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana in Ohio. Penalties vary according to the amount possessed, with increased fines and jail time for second and subsequent convictions, and for offenses committed within 1,000 feet of a school. For offenses involving more than 100 grams of marijuana, the judge will suspend the defendant’s driver’s license for at least six months (and up to five years). (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.11.)

  • Up to 100 grams (or up to five grams hashish). Ohio has decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana. Violations are considered minor misdemeanors, which incur a $150 fine but no jail time, and do not become part of the defendant’s criminal record.
  • Between 100 and 200 grams (or five and ten grams hashish). Penalties include a fine of up to $250, up to 30 days in jail, or both.
  • Between 200 and 1,000 grams (or ten and 50 grams hashish). Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • Between 1,000 and 20,000 grams (or 50 and 1,000 grams hashish). Penalties include a fine of between $5,000 and $10,000, between one and five years in prison, or both.
  • Between 20,000 and 40,000 grams (or 1,000 and 2,000 grams hashish). Penalties include a fine of between $7,500 and $15,000, between five and eight years in prison, or both.
  • 40,000 grams or more (or 2,000 grams hashish). Penalties include a fine of between $10,000 and $20,000, at least eight years in prison, or both.

To learn more about the consequences of a marijuana possession conviction in Ohio, and options to defend it, see Marijuana Possession Laws in Ohio: Why Fight a Pot Ticket.

Cultivation and Sale

It is illegal to cultivate or sell marijuana in Ohio. Penalties vary according to the amount cultivated or sold, with increased penalties for second or subsequent offenses and sales within 1,000 feet of a school. (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.04.)

  • Up to 20 grams without payment. Like possession of small amounts of marijuana, Ohio has decriminalized giving someone up to 20 grams of marijuana. Violations are considered minor misdemeanors, which incur a $150 fine but no jail time, and do not become part of the defendant’s criminal record.
  • Sale of up to 200 grams. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • Between 200 and 1,000 grams. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to 18 months in prison, or both.
  • Between 1,000 and 20,000 grams. Penalties include a fine of between $5,000 and $10,000, between one and five years in prison, or both.
  • Between 20,000 and 40,000 grams. Penalties include a fine of between $7,500 and $15,000, between five and eight years in prison, or both.
  • 40,000 grams or more. Penalties include a fine of between $10,000 and $20,000, at least eight years in prison, or both.

Trafficking

Someone who prepares marijuana for shipment, ships, or transports marijuana for distribution, is guilty of trafficking marijuana. Penalties vary according to the amount trafficked, with increased fines and jail time for trafficking with children present, or near a school. (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.03.)

  • Up to 200 grams (or up to ten grams hashish). Penalties include a fine of up to $2,500, up to one year in jail, or both.
  • Between 200 and 20,000 grams (between 10 and 1,000 grams hashish). Penalties include a fine of between $5,000 and $10,000, between one and five years in prison, or both.
  • Between 20,000 and 40,000 grams (between 1,000 and 2,000 grams hashish). Penalties include a fine of between $7,500 and $15,000, between five and eight years in prison, or both.
  • 40,000 grams or more (or 2,000 grams or more of hashish). Penalties include a fine of between $10,000 and $20,000, at least eight years in prison, or both.

Corrupting Another with Drugs

It is illegal in Ohio to force someone to ingest drugs, to furnish drugs to a minor, or to cause a minor to commit a felony drug offense. These crimes are collectively called “corrupting another with drugs” and are punishable with a fine of $2,500 or more, and between six and 18 months in jail. (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.02.)

Drug Paraphernalia

It is illegal in Ohio to manufacture, sell, or use drug paraphernalia (or possess paraphernalia with the intent to do so). Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties for possession include a fine of up to $750, up to 30 days in jail, or both. Selling paraphernalia may be punished with a fine of up to $1,000, up to 90 days in jail, or both. (Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.04.)

To learn more about Ohio's drugs laws, please see Possession of a Controlled Substance in Ohio.

The Value of Local Legal Representation

If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.

by: , Contributing Author

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