What are the penalties for marijuana possession in Ohio?
Answered by: Jon J. Saia
In Ohio, it is a crime to intentionally or knowingly possess marijuana (except for persons authorized to possess medical marijuana). Like many other states, the penalties for possessing marijuana (sale, cultivation or possession of paraphernalia are not discussed in this article) depend on the amount of the drug possessed. Generally, possession penalties are as follows:
- Up to 100 grams: The Ohio legislature has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Violations in this range are minor misdemeanors, meaning that there is no jail time involved and convictions are not included on a person’s a criminal record. However, violators may be fined up to $150.
- 100 to 200 grams: Possession of marijuana in this weight range carries a misdemeanor charge with fines up to $250 and up to 30 days of incarceration.
- 200 to 1,000 grams: Possession of this amount and above is a felony charge. Violators face fines of up to $2,500 and 1 year in jail.
- 1,000 to 20,000 grams: Penalties include fines of between $5,000 and $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
- 20,000 to 40,000 grams: Penalties include a minimum of five years in prison (maximum of eight years) and between $7,500 and $15,000 in fines.
- 40,000 grams or more: Violators may be fined between $10,000 and $20,000 and incarceration for a minimum of eight years.
In addition to the above penalties, persons convicted of possessing more than 100 grams of marijuana face suspension of their drivers’ licenses for up to five years (minimum of six months).
Like a growing number of states, Ohio has legalized the possession of medical marijuana. Accordingly, persons possessing marijuana in compliance with the requirements of Ohio’s medical marijuana laws, or the laws of another state (e.g. possessing an out-of-state medical marijuana card), may possess up to a 90-day supply of marijuana (the actual amount has not been defined) without fear of a possession conviction.
However, Ohio’s medical marijuana laws offer no defense against charges for operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI) of marijuana. This means that medical marijuana users can still be charged and convicted of OVI if caught driving while under the influence of their prescribed marijuana.
If you are charged with marijuana possession, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help reduce the severity of the charges you face and help you obtain the best available outcome.
Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.Top rated attorney Jon J. Saia answers Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI legal question ‘What are the penalties for marijuana possession …’ in OH on Ask Super Lawyers.
Ohio Marijuana Laws
A Guide from Columbus, OH’s Premier Legal Team
Marijuana is a substance derived from the Cannabis sativa plant (typically from its leaves, seeds, or flowers) that is often used as a psychoactive or analgesic drug. Marijuana may eaten, but it most often smoked, allowing THC (tetrahydrocannabinol: the principle main ingredient in marijuana) to enter the bloodstream and reach the brain, producing a “high.” Though marijuana is legal for recreational use in some states and medicinal use in others, it is an illegal substance in the state of Ohio. In fact, possession of marijuana is considered a crime Ohio, regardless of the amount found. If you have been charged with a marijuana-related crime such as possession or trafficking, it is important to find a lawyer you can trust to fight for your case. Our attorneys at Scott and Nolder Law Firm have decades of experience working with clients across Ohio on drug related cases of all kinds and can provide you with the trusted legal counsel and representation you need to get the settlement you deserve. Learn more about Ohio marijuana laws below, and contact our firm (614) 221-9790 today!
Possession of marijuana is a crime in the state of Ohio. There are two types of marijuana possession — actual possession and constructive possession — that can lead to a criminal conviction. Physical possession occurs when marijuana is found on your person, either in your pockets or in a bag you’re carrying. In cases of constructive possession, marijuana is found and linked back to you: either because it was found on your property, or because you were determined to be the principle possessor of the substance. The severity of marijuana possession charges are typically determined by the amount of marijuana found. Learn more in the short guide below:
- Less than 100 grams: Minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $150.
- 100-200 grams: 4 th degree misdemeanor punishable by 30 days in jail; $250 fine.
- 200-1,000 grams: 5 th degree felony punishable by 6 months to 1 year in prison; community control presumed.
- 1,000-5,000 grams: 3 rd degree felony punishable by 9 months to 3 years in prison; no presumption of prison.
- 5,000-20,000 grams: 3 rd degree felony punishable by 9 months to 3 years in prison; prison time presumed.
- 20,000-40,000 grams: 2 nd degree felony punishable by 5-8 years in prison (mandatory).
- More than 40,000 grams: 2 nd degree felony punishable by a mandatory 8 years in prison.
The state of Ohio defines marijuana trafficking as selling, offering, or packaging marijuana. Depending on the amount of marijuana discovered, marijuana trafficking may be a felony ranging from a felony of the 1 st degree (most severe) to a felony of the 5 th degree (least severe). See the breakdown for more information.
- ≤20 grams: Minor misdemeanor, $150 fine
- >20 grams – (614) 221-9790 today!