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A review of Ohio's marijuana laws

The use of marijuana for medicinal purposes and the legality of possession for such reasons has been a hot legal issue in recent years. While some states have declared medicinal marijuana and recreational marijuana use decriminalized, the federal government still views any use of marijuana as a crime. In our state, the laws on marijuana use and possession are subject to change and readers should always speak with their trusted criminal defense attorneys about their pending drug charges.

In 2016, the state reduced the penalties for the recreational possession of a small amount of marijuana. If a person possesses less than 200 grams of marijuana, then they will only be charged with a misdemeanor under state law. Possession of the substance in excess of 200 grams may, however, result in the individual facing felony charges.

Additionally, penalties related to the sale or gifting of small amounts of marijuana has been made less severe. The transfer of less than 20 grams of marijuana between individuals is treated as a misdemeanor though, the transfer of more than 20 grams of the substance may be pursued as a felony in Ohio.

Misdemeanor punishments are serious, but often do not involve time in jail. A person convicted of a marijuana charge may be asked to pay a fine or give up their license. But, misdemeanor marijuana charges can be elevated, if children are present or near at the time of the alleged illegal conduct.

Defending oneself against marijuana charges is important, despite the state's reduction in penalties for certain offenses. Criminal convictions can be used against individuals, and it can benefit a person to have a clean criminal record as they move into their future.

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