Marijuana laws are a hot topic in the United States right now. After the addition of marijuana to the prohibition list in 1937, we are now seeing a revolutionary cultural shift in states like Colorado, Washington, Alaska, and Oregon (and don’t forget about the District of Columbia) who have legalized the recreational use of marijuana. 23 other states have legalized medical marijuana, but it remains a criminal offense in Ohio – both medically and recreationally.

Throughout the years, Ohio has lessened regulation on marijuana. Any possession of marijuana is against the law, but the penalties are not as severe as in years past. Today, if you were caught with up to 3.5 ounces (approximately 100 grams) of marijuana or moving up to 20 grams of marijuana (selling or giving) constitutes a minor misdemeanor. The penalty is $150 fine and the possibility of a license suspension up to five years. No longer is jail time part of this crime.

A more severe penalty for marijuana possession is for holding over 200 grams or the movement of more than 20 grams of cannabis bud or 10 grams of hashish (a liquid, concentrated form of THC – the active ingredient in marijuana). If you are found with these amounts, you will be charged with a felony crime. Even more, if you are found driving under the influence of cannabis, you can spend anywhere from three days to six months in jail and face a six month to three year license suspension.

Regarding other drugs (cocaine, “club drugs,” heroin, LSD, and methamphetamine), the possession is illegal. Even more, possession with the intent to distribute brings much more severe penalties.

Drug charges are nothing to take lightly. It is very difficult to fight drug charges on your own. So if you’ve been charged with the possession of marijuana or other drugs in the Southeastern Ohio area, call Susan Gwinn, criminal lawyer, to aid you in the defense of your case and the protection of your Constitutional rights.