Given the publicity surrounding the recent presidential election, it is no surprise that many people were unaware that the residents of multiple Ohio cities were also voting on whether to decriminalize marijuana possession - with four cities actually passing new marijuana possession ordinances.
As reported by Cleveland.com, marijuana measures passed in the cities of Bellaire, Newark, Roseville and Logan - thereby joining the City of Toledo, which decriminalized marijuana possession last year. Specifically, the language of these new measures decriminalizes the possession of 200 grams or less of marijuana, meaning no jail time or significant fines.
So does that mean marijuana is now legal in these cities?
While the police in the communities mentioned above will no longer arrest individuals for the possession of small amounts of marijuana, that doesn't mean marijuana is automatically legal under state law. In fact, under Ohio state law:
- Possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor
- Possession of 100 grams or more of marijuana, but less than 200 grams, is a misdemeanor in the fourth degree
- Possession of 200 grams or more of marijuana, but less than 1,000 grams, is a felony in the fifth degree
- Possession of 1,000 grams or more of marijuana, but less than 5,000 grams, is a felony in the third degree
- Possession of 5,000 grams or more of marijuana, but less than 20,000 grams, is a felony in the third degree
- Possession of 20,000 grams or more of marijuana, but less than 40,000 grams, is a felony in the second degree, with a mandatory prison term of five, six, seven or eight years
- Possession of 40,000 grams or more of marijuana is a felony in the second degree, with a mandatory maximum prison term
If you have been charged with marijuana possession under Ohio law, you need to talk to an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. A skilled lawyer can defend your rights and help you seek the best resolution possible. You cannot afford to leave things to chance.