Ohio has not legalized the recreational use of marijuana. However, it does permit the medicinal use of cannabis by individuals with qualifying conditions and has decriminalized marijuana to some degree – particularly when it comes to first- time possession of small amounts.
For example, possession of fewer than 100 grams of pot in Ohio is a minor misdemeanor that carries a $150 fine. Minor misdemeanors don’t create criminal records in Ohio, nor do they subject individuals to incarceration.
Although cannabis is decriminalized in certain circumstances, Ohio residents can still find themselves facing criminal charges related to marijuana. Examples of these crimes include:
- Possession – Possession can still result in criminal charges, criminal records, and imprisonment in certain circumstances. Possessing 100 to 200 grams of marijuana, for instance, is a misdemeanor punishable by up to 30 days imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250. Possessing 200 to 1,000 grams is grounds for a felony, up to one year in jail, and a fine up to $2,500. It is important to note that in less serious cases involving a first offense, defendants can seek alternative or diversion sentencing, complete probation, and have the charge removed from their criminal record. Cultivation penalties mirror those associated with possession. However, possession of hash and concentrated cannabis, including wax, is grounds for more serious penalties.
- Sales / Distribution – While a gift of 20 grams of marijuana or less is a minor misdemeanor, and a misdemeanor upon a second offense, sales of marijuana up to 200 grams is a felony. Penalties also increase when greater amounts of cannabis are involved.
- Marijuana DUI – Ohio enforces strict standards when it comes to marijuana DUI, which means that any driver can be charged with the offense when they have any amount of marijuana in their system while operating a motor vehicle.
There are 21 qualifying conditions—such as chronic pain or cancer—to obtain medical marijuana in Ohio. The only acceptable forms of medical marijuana include edibles, oils, patches, tinctures, vaping, and plant material.
Smoking and cultivating cannabis are against the law in the state. Despite the fact that vaping entails using medical marijuana through combustion, it is permitted.