While Ohio's marijuana laws have loosened in recent years along with many other states across the country, the federal government still considers sale, possession and trafficking of marijuana to be illegal across the country. A growing number of states have also legalized medical marijuana, including Ohio. While dispensaries have not been established in the state, people who are eligible for medical marijuana can receive a patient identification card which can help to establish a defense in case a person is charged with a marijuana offense.
Under current law, the possession of fewer than 100 grams of cannabis is considered a minor misdemeanor in Ohio, as is the transfer of fewer than 20 grams. While a person cannot be sent to jail on this type of drug charge, they could face a driver's license suspension or up to $150 in fines. However, possession of over 200 grams of marijuana or selling or transferring over 20 grams could result in felony charges.
Other types of cannabis products are more heavily criminalized; possession of over 10 grams of hashish or two grams of liquid concentrates could also result in felony drug charges. There are stricter penalties if sale is made within 1000 feet of a school or 100 feet of a minor, even if the school or the minor were unaware of and uninvolved in the transaction.
Marijuana is increasingly common, yet minor drug charges can still inhibit the potential of a person's life. Certain types of drug convictions can result in a criminal record that follows a person around and can hurt that person's ability to find a job or housing or even receive federal student loans. A criminal defense lawyer may be able to help people facing drug allegations present a strong defense before trial and in the courtroom, including challenging poor police evidence collection practices or rights violations.