Cincinnati Medical Marijuana Lawyer
With the passage of House Bill 523 in 2016, Ohio made marijuana use legal for medical purposes. While this legal development may offer alternative treatment options for those who are suffering from certain ailments, Ohio law is still very strict and confusing when it comes to who can be in legal possession of marijuana. When considering medical marijuana, it is important to note that Ohio’s medical marijuana law limits who can use this form of treatment. It might be several years before it is available to the public. A skilled and experienced Cincinnati medical marijuana lawyer can help if you, your business, or a loved one are facing drug-related criminal charges.
The criminal defense lawyers at Luftman, Heck & Associates have helped many clients after they have been arrested for marijuana-related crimes. To speak with a lawyer today, call us at (513) 338-1890.
Medical Marijuana Use in Ohio
Ohio’s new medical marijuana law will allow for the cultivation, processing, dispensing, and use of marijuana with a physician’s recommendation. Certified doctors will be allowed to prescribe marijuana as a medical treatment so long as there is an established physician-patient relationship with the person seeking treatment.
Lawmakers and police officials are concerned that people will try to abuse Ohio’s medical marijuana law and seek prescriptions for marijuana simply for recreational use. Violations of medical marijuana law, made by doctors or patients, will be pursued aggressively by prosecutors, and may result in serious criminal charges being filed against you.
If you are diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition, your doctor may recommend marijuana for your treatment after discussing the risks and potential benefits of the drug. Some of the qualifying medical conditions which may allow you to seek medical marijuana as a treatment are:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Crohn’s disease
- Hepatitis C
- Parkinson’s disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Spinal cord injuries
- Severe chronic pain
While a majority of marijuana arrests in Ohio revolve around possession or sale of smokable forms of the substance, it will not be legal for patients to smoke medicinal marijuana. The state’s new medical marijuana law expressly prohibits its smoking. Possession or sale of the drug in smokable leaves or dried buds will still be a criminal offense. Once medicinal marijuana is available to patients, state regulations may allow for it to be sold as:
- Gels or creams
- Forms that can be vaporized
Penalties for Illegal Marijuana Possession
Until state regulators establish rules and licensing requirements for medical marijuana, there remains no legal way to possess, sell, or consume marijuana for medical purposes in Ohio. Even when the practice of medical marijuana use becomes possible over the next few years, the drug will be highly regulated, and violations of marijuana laws will still be a punishable offense. Penalties for drug crimes vary based on many factors such as prior offenses, the quantity of drugs involved in an arrest, and whether the drug offense was violent in nature.
Penalties for illegal marijuana possession are based on the volume of marijuana in grams, and are as follows:
- Less than 100 grams – Minor misdemeanor, no jail time, and a max fine of $150
- 100 – 200 grams – fourth-degree misdemeanor, up to 30 days in jail, and a max fine of $250
- 201 – 999 grams – fifth-degree felony, up to one year in jail, and a max fine of $2,500
- 1,000 – 19,999 grams – third-degree felony, up to five years in prison, and a max fine of $10,000
- 20,000 or more grams – second-degree felony, mandatory eight years in prison, and a max fine of $15,000
When Will Medical Marijuana Take Effect in Ohio?
Although medical marijuana has been legal in Ohio since September of 2016, there may still be several years until you and your doctor can integrate marijuana into your treatment. Rules for its sale and use still have to be established by Ohio’s medical, pharmaceutical, and commercial regulators. You will not be able to legally purchase marijuana, even for medical reasons, until dispensaries are allowed to open, and it will still be illegal to possess medical marijuana in Ohio that you purchased legally out of state. The sale of legal medical marijuana will be very closely regulated, and any violations may result in forfeiture of licenses, large fines, and even jail time.
A Medical Marijuana Lawyer Can Help You
The legalization of medical marijuana will allow for your doctor to consider its use in helping you if you are afflicted by a variety of medical conditions. An experienced Cincinnati medical marijuana lawyer will be able to help if you find yourself, or your business, facing serious drug charges. To learn more about medical marijuana in Ohio, or to discuss your defense if you are facing drug charges, contact Luftman, Heck & Associates to speak with a lawyer. Call us at (513) 338-1890.