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What If I Am Arrested for Marijuana Drug Possession but Have a Medical Card?

According to Ohio law, recreational marijuana use is still illegal, although people who have a medical marijuana card will be able to possess a small amount of the substance for treatment. These laws are extremely new, however. Medical marijuana use only became legalized in September of 2016. Likewise, dispensaries should be open by September 2018. Until the laws have been finalized, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office says marijuana possession, with or without a card, remains illegal until all rules and regulations are finalized.

If you have a medical marijuana card, you will be legally allowed to possess a 90-day supply of cannabis. A registered patient or caregiver must not have any more than this. Currently, the Board of Pharmacy is trying to develop rules to determine the amount of medical marijuana that exceeds this supply.

However, there is a new loophole in the medical marijuana law that states doctors can give people “affirmative defense” letters to use in court if cited or arrested for possession ahead of the opening of dispensaries. In order to use the loophole, the person must have a doctor-patient relationship with the person who issued the letter and the person must have one of the Ohio law’s 21 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana use.

Out-of-state licenses are not recognized by Ohio law currently, so those who possess such cards will not necessarily be protected from criminal charges. However, Ohio residents who have a medical card and who bring over marijuana from Michigan might be protected by such an affirmative defense letter. One man’s letter prevented him from being cited for possession, and police officers returned his confiscated cannabis.

For more information about where Ohio stands on medical marijuana, visit the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program website here. If you’ve been arrested for possession of marijuana, talk to a skilled Dayton criminal defense attorney about your case. L. Patrick Mulligan & Associates, LLC are dedicated to defending the rights and freedoms of Ohio residents. Because the laws regarding medical marijuana possession aren’t yet set in stone, you should have an experienced advocate on your side in the event you are arrested for possession.

Contact us at (937) 685-7006 or fill out our online form to schedule a case consultation with us today. We are available 24/7 to take your calls.

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