Ohio legalized recreational marijuana for adults 21 years old and older in December 2023. However, there are still restrictions on the use of recreational marijuana in the state. You could still be charged with a marijuana offense if you are not careful with the use of recreational marijuana.

Ohio Recreational Marijuana Laws

Recreational marijuana is legal for adults over 21 years old. However, it is only legal if you purchase the marijuana from an adult-use dispensary. The dispensary must be licensed by the Ohio Division of Cannabis Control.

An adult 21 years old and older can transport, possess, use, and transfer up to 2.5 grams of marijuana and 15 grams of marijuana extract. An adult over 21 years old and older can grow a limited number of marijuana plants. They can have up to six cannabis plants at their primary residence.

Possession of Marijuana Charges in Ohio

You can be charged with possession of marijuana if you have more than the legal amount of marijuana in your possession.

It is a misdemeanor charge to have between 2.5 grams but less than 100 grams of marijuana in your possession. Generally, there is no jail time if you possess less than 100 grams of marijuana. However, you could face up to 30 days in jail and probation if you have between 100 and 199 grams of marijuana in your possession.

Suppose you have over 200 grams by less than one kilogram of marijuana in your possession. In that case, the charge increases to a fight-degree felony, which could result in a prison sentence and probation. 

As the amount of marijuana increases, the felony charge increases. If you have over 40 kilograms of marijuana in your possession, you face a second-degree felony with up to eight years in prison and a maximum fine of $20,000.

All charges of possession of marijuana could result in losing your driver’s license. The length depends on the charge, but you could have your license suspended for six months to five years for possession of marijuana.

Cultivation of Marijuana Charges in Ohio

Growing marijuana in excess of the legal number of plants results in a charge of cultivation of marijuana.

If you cultivate less than 100 grams, it is a misdemeanor charge. When the amount is less than 199 grams but more than 100 grams, you could face jail time and probation. Cultivation of marijuana in amounts over 200 grams results in felony charges. As with possession charges, the felony charges increase with the amount of marijuana cultivated.

You can be charged with a second-degree felony if you cultivate more than 20 kilograms of marijuana. A conviction could result in two to eight years in prison. Aggravating factors could increase the penalties.

Cultivation of marijuana can also result in driver’s license suspension.

Are There Defenses to Marijuana Possession Charges in Cincinnati, OH?

If you are charged with possession of marijuana, you can and should defend yourself. Never assume that innocent until proven guilty will keep you out of jail. The prosecutor must prove their case to obtain a conviction, but you should fight the charges to protect your rights.

Possible defenses to marijuana possession charges include:

  • You had a valid prescription for medical marijuana
  • The marijuana was not yours
  • You were not in possession of the marijuana
  • The marijuana or other evidence was obtained in violation of your Constitutional rights
  • You did not know that you were in possession of marijuana

An experienced lawyer can investigate the charges against you. They can analyze the evidence the prosecution has and investigate to gather evidence to use in your defense.

Driving Under the Influence of Marijuana in Ohio

Even though recreational marijuana is legal in Ohio, you cannot operate a motor vehicle under the influence of marijuana. You can be charged with OVI if you are under the influence of marijuana or you have a prohibited concentration of marijuana in your system while driving.

The penalties for marijuana DUI can be severe. The first OVI could result in three days in jail and a fine of up to $1,075. A Fourth OVI for marijuana could result in 60 days to 2.5 years of incarceration and a maximum fine of up to $10,000. Additionally, you face driver’s license suspension and mandatory substance abuse counseling.

What Should I Do if I’m Arrested on Marijuana Charges in Cincinnati, OH?

Many assume that police officers do not arrest people for marijuana charges since Ohio legalized recreational marijuana for personal use. However, that is not the case. You can be arrested for marijuana offenses.

If you are arrested for marijuana charges, treat the charges seriously. Even misdemeanor marijuana charges have consequences. Do not answer questions or make a statement without an attorney present. Exercise your right to remain silent, with the exception of asking for an attorney.

Before pleading guilty or accepting a plea bargain, talk with a drug crimes lawyer. One or more defenses could result in an acquittal or a dismissal of the charges. 

Contact the Cincinnati Criminal Defense Attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers For Help Today

For more information, contact the criminal defense attorneys at Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers. Give us a call today at (513) 333-0014 or visit us at our Cincinnati law office.

Suhre & Associates DUI and Criminal Defense Lawyers – Cincinnati
600 Vine Street, Suite 1004
Cincinnati, OH 45202
United States