Many American states and cities have legalized or decriminalized marijuana possession, including Ohio, where marijuana is allowed for medicinal use. In addition, recreational marijuana use and possession of small amounts are decriminalized here.
But this does not mean that marijuana is legal in Ohio. Decriminalization means that possessing less than 100 grams of marijuana is no longer a jailable offense that goes on your criminal record. But it is still a “minor misdemeanor” punishable by a fine of up to $150.
Five levels of penalty for marijuana possession
Beyond that, marijuana possession is still illegal, though having a state-issued patient identification card can be an affirmative defense to criminal charges. Here is an overview of the potential penalties for cannabis possession:
- 100 – 200g: up to 30 days in jail and a maximum fine of $250
- 200g – one kilogram: up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $2,500
- One kg – 20kg: up to five years in prison and a fine of $5,000 – 10,000
- 20kg – 40kg: five to eight years in prison and a fine of $7,500 – 15,000
- 40kg or more: At least eight years in prison and a fine of $10,000 – 20,000
Possession of a kilogram or more of marijuana is a felony-level offense. People with a license to possess medical marijuana can possess up to a 90-day supply.
As more and more states fully legalize marijuana, Ohio may follow suit at some point. But for now, you should be aware that, with few exceptions, marijuana possession is still a crime in the Buckeye State. If you are arrested on possession charges, you could be facing time behind bars. You need to know your legal options so you can make smart legal decisions.