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marijuana possession ohio

What are the penalties for marijuana possession in Ohio?

Answered by: Jon J. Saia

In Ohio, it is a crime to intentionally or knowingly possess marijuana (except for persons authorized to possess medical marijuana). Like many other states, the penalties for possessing marijuana (sale, cultivation or possession of paraphernalia are not discussed in this article) depend on the amount of the drug possessed. Generally, possession penalties are as follows:

  • Up to 100 grams: The Ohio legislature has decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana. Violations in this range are minor misdemeanors, meaning that there is no jail time involved and convictions are not included on a person’s a criminal record. However, violators may be fined up to $150.
  • 100 to 200 grams: Possession of marijuana in this weight range carries a misdemeanor charge with fines up to $250 and up to 30 days of incarceration.
  • 200 to 1,000 grams: Possession of this amount and above is a felony charge. Violators face fines of up to $2,500 and 1 year in jail.
  • 1,000 to 20,000 grams: Penalties include fines of between $5,000 and $10,000 and up to five years in prison.
  • 20,000 to 40,000 grams: Penalties include a minimum of five years in prison (maximum of eight years) and between $7,500 and $15,000 in fines.
  • 40,000 grams or more: Violators may be fined between $10,000 and $20,000 and incarceration for a minimum of eight years.

In addition to the above penalties, persons convicted of possessing more than 100 grams of marijuana face suspension of their drivers’ licenses for up to five years (minimum of six months).

Medical marijuana

Like a growing number of states, Ohio has legalized the possession of medical marijuana. Accordingly, persons possessing marijuana in compliance with the requirements of Ohio’s medical marijuana laws, or the laws of another state (e.g. possessing an out-of-state medical marijuana card), may possess up to a 90-day supply of marijuana (the actual amount has not been defined) without fear of a possession conviction.

However, Ohio’s medical marijuana laws offer no defense against charges for operating a vehicle while under the influence (OVI) of marijuana. This means that medical marijuana users can still be charged and convicted of OVI if caught driving while under the influence of their prescribed marijuana.

If you are charged with marijuana possession, it is important to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney. An attorney can help reduce the severity of the charges you face and help you obtain the best available outcome.

Disclaimer: The answer is intended to be for informational purposes only. It should not be relied on as legal advice, nor construed as a form of attorney-client relationship.

Top rated attorney Jon J. Saia answers Criminal Defense: DUI/DWI legal question ‘What are the penalties for marijuana possession …’ in OH on Ask Super Lawyers.

Ohio Laws and Penalties

Possession

Sale/Distribution/Trafficking

Cultivation

Hash & Concentrates

Paraphernalia

Miscellaneous

Penalty Details

Possession

Possession of less than 100 grams is a minor misdemeanor punishable by a $150 fine.*

Possession of 100 – 200 grams is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 30 days imprisonment and a maximum fine of $250.

Possession of 200 – 1,000 grams is a felony, punishable by up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $2,500.**

Possession of 1,000 – 20,000 grams is a third degree felony punishable by 1-5 years imprisonment and/or a fine of $5,000 – $10,000.

Possession of 20,000 – 40,000 grams is a second-degree felony punishable by between 5-8 years of imprisonment, and/or a maximum fine of $15,000.

Possession of more than 40,000 grams is a second-degree felony punishable by at least 8 years imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $20,000.

  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.11 (2015) Web Search

* A minor misdemeanor does not create a criminal record in Ohio.

Cultivation

Penalties for the cultivation of marijuana are identical to the penalties for possessing an equivalent amount, in weight, of marijuana. See the chart above for further guidance.

  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2925.04 (2015) Web Search

** Ohio provides an affirmative defense for this level of cultivation if the defendant can meet the burden to prove that the marijuana was intended solely for personal use by a preponderance of the evidence. If this defense is successful, the defendant can still be convicted of, or plead guilty to, a misdemeanor violation of illegal cultivation of marihuana.

Sale/Distribution/Trafficking

A gift of 20 grams or less is a minor misdemeanor punishable by a maximum fine of $150.

A second conviction for a gift of 20 grams or less is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 60 days imprisonment and a maximum fine of $500.

The sale of up to 200 grams is a felony, punishable by a maximum sentence of 12 months imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.

The sale of 200 grams – 1,000 grams is a fourth degree felony, punishable by up to 18 months imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $2,500.

The sale of 1,000 – 20,000 grams is a third degree felony punishable by a sentence of 1-5 years imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $10,000.

The sale of 20,000 – 40,000 grams is a second-degree felony punishable by between 5-8 years imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $15,000.

The sale of over 40,000 grams is a second-degree felony, punishable by a mandatory 8 years imprisonment and/or a maximum fine of $20,000.

The sale of marijuana to a minor, within 1,000 feet of a school, within 100 feet of a juvenile, or by one who has a previous drug conviction is a felony which will increase the length of the term of imprisonment and the fine.

  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.03 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2929.13 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2929.18 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2929.22 (2015) Web Search
Hash & Concentrates

Possession of up to 5 grams of solid hashish (1 gram of liquid hashish) is a minor misdemeanor punishable by a fine no greater than $150.

Possession of 5-10 grams of solid hashish (1-2 grams of liquid hashish) is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine no greater than $250 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 30 days.

Possession of 10-50 grams of solid hashish (2-10 grams of liquid hashish) is a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500 and/or a maximum term of 1-year imprisonment.

Possession 50 -1,000 grams of solid hashish (10 – 200 grams of liquid hashish) is a felony punishable by a fine no greater than $10,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no less than 9 months and no greater than 3 years.

Possession of 1,000- 2,000 grams of solid hashish (200 – 400 grams of liquid hashish) is a felony in the second degree, punishable by up to 8 years imprisonment and/ or up to a $15,000 fine.

Possession of over 2,000 grams of solid hashish (400 grams of liquid hashish) is a felony in the second degree punishable by a fine no greater than $15,000 and/or a term of imprisonment of 8 years.

  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2925.11(C)(7) (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2929.28 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2929.24 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2929.18 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2929.14 (2015) Web Search

Selling less than 10 grams of solid hashish (less than 2 grams of liquid hashish) is a felony punishable by a maximum fine of $2,500 and/or a term of imprisonment no less than 6 months and no greater than 1 year.

Selling 10 – 50 grams of solid hashish (2 -10 grams) of liquid hashish is a felony punishable by a fine no greater than $5,000 and/ or a term of imprisonment no less than 6 months and no greater than 18 months.

Selling between 50 – 250 grams of solid hashish (10-50 grams of liquid hashish) is a felony, punishable by a fine no greater than $10,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no less than 9 months and no greater than 3 years.

Selling between 250- 1,000 grams of solid hashish (50 -200 grams of liquid hashish) is a felony punishable by a fine no greater than $10,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no less than 9 months and no greater than 3 years.

Selling between 1,000 – 2,000 grams of solid hashish (200 – 400 grams of liquid hashish) is a felony punishable by a fine no greater than $15,000 and a term of imprisonment no less than 5 years and no greater than 8 years.

Selling over 2,000 grams of solid hashish (over 400 grams of liquid hashish) is a felony by a maximum fine of $15,000 and /or a term of imprisonment of 8 years.

  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann., §2925.03(C)(7) (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2929.18 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev,Code Ann. §§2929.14 (2015) Web Search

Manufacturing hashish is a felony of the second degree punishable by a maximum fine of $15,000 and/or a maximum of 8 years imprisonment.

  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2925.04(C)(2) (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2929.18 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2929.14 (2015) Web Search
Paraphernalia

Possession of marijuana paraphernalia is a minor misdemeanor, punishable by a maximum fine of $150, possible community service, and suspension of the offender’s driver’s license for 6 months – five years.

  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.141 (2015) Web Search

The sale of paraphernalia is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum sentence of 90 days imprisonment and a maximum fine of $750.

  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.14 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2929.13 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2929.22 (2015) Web Search

Any device or equipment used to create or manufacture hashish is considered drug paraphernalia. Possession of such equipment is a misdemeanor of the fourth degree punishable by a maximum fine of $250 and/or maximum 30-day jail sentence. Selling or manufacturing any such device or equipment is a misdemeanor of the second degree punishable by maximum fine of $750 and/or a maximum 90-day term of imprisonment. If any such device or equipment was sold to a minor, the offense is a misdemeanor in the first degree punishable by a fine no greater than $1,000 and/or a term of imprisonment no greater than 180 days. Advertising the sale of such equipment is a misdemeanor, punishable by a fine no greater than $750 and a term of imprisonment no greater than 90 days.

  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2925.14(2) (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2929.18 (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. §2929.14 (2015) Web Search
Miscellaneous

Any conviction for possession of a controlled substance is subject to driver’s license revocation for no less than 6 months and no more than 5 years.

  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925.11(E)(2) (2015) Web Search
  • Ohio Rev. Code Ann. § 2925. 14 (2015) Web Search
More Information
Conditional Release

The state allows conditional release or alternative or diversion sentencing for people facing their first prosecutions. Usually, conditional release lets a person opt for probation rather than trial. After successfully completing probation, the individual’s criminal record does not reflect the charge.

Decriminalization

The state has decriminalized marijuana to some degree. Typically, decriminalization means no prison time or criminal record for first-time possession of a small amount for personal consumption. The conduct is treated like a minor traffic violation.

Drugged Driving

Every state criminalizes driving under the influence of a controlled substance. Some jurisdictions also impose additional per se laws. In their strictest form, these laws forbid drivers from operating a motor vehicle if they have a detectable level of an illicit drug or drug metabolite (i.e., compounds produced from chemical changes of a drug in the body, but not necessarily psychoactive themselves) present in their bodily fluids above a specific, state-imposed threshold. Read further information about cannabinoids and their impact on psychomotor performance. Additional information regarding cannabinoids and proposed per se limits is available online.

Local Decriminalization

This state has local jurisdictions that have enacted municipal laws or resolutions either fully or partially decriminalizing minor cannabis possession offenses.

Mandatory Minimum Sentence

When someone is convicted of an offense punishable by a mandatory minimum sentence, the judge must sentence the defendant to the mandatory minimum sentence or to a higher sentence. The judge has no power to sentence the defendant to less time than the mandatory minimum. A prisoner serving an MMS for a federal offense and for most state offenses will not be eligible for parole. Even peaceful marijuana smokers sentenced to “life MMS” must serve a life sentence with no chance of parole.

Medical Marijuana

This state has medical marijuana laws enacted. Modern research suggests that cannabis is a valuable aid in the treatment of a wide range of clinical applications. These include pain relief, nausea, spasticity, glaucoma, and movement disorders. Marijuana is also a powerful appetite stimulant and emerging research suggests that marijuana’s medicinal properties may protect the body against some types of malignant tumors, and are neuroprotective.

Ohio Laws and Penalties Possession Sale/Distribution/Trafficking Cultivation Hash & Concentrates Paraphernalia Miscellaneous Penalty Details Possession Possession of less