Supporters of an Ohio marijuana legalization measure can now collect signatures to put the proposed constitutional amendment on a future statewide ballot.
Ohio Marijuana News and Politics
Brown, Sherrod - (D - OH)
713 Hart Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Portman, Rob - (R - OH)
448 Russell Senate Office Building Washington DC 20510
Sen. Portman is up for re-election in 2016
Marijuana Policy Project on Ohio:
Last update: December 1, 2015
On November 3, 2015, voters rejected an amendment that would have legalized medical and adult use cannabis, while controversially allowing commercial cultivation only at 10 specifically designated parcels. While Ohioans did not approve that particular proposal, polls have made it clear they are eager for more sensible marijuana policies.
Since Election Day, lawmakers have demonstrated renewed interest in discussing marijuana policy change. On November 4, Senate Minority Leader Joe Schiavoni and Sen. Kenny Yuko sent a letter to General Assembly leaders calling on them to work toward bipartisan legislation to legalize medical marijuana. Even Gov. John Kasich is open to the legislature studying whether medical marijuana should be approved, deferring to doctors’ expertise. And a recent Quinnipiac poll shows 90 percent support for medical marijuana among Ohioans.
Hopefully, given strong support for marijuana policy reform among Ohio’s residents, the Ohio Legislature will act to craft a workable medical marijuana program for seriously ill patients. In 2015, the only reform bill presented would allow very limited access to cannabidiol (CBD) — which is one of the dozens of cannabinoids in marijuana. The bill has failed to advance since February, and even if it passed, it largely fails to authorize any cultivation.
Marijuana laws in Ohio
Possession of less than 100 grams (or about 3.5 ounces), giving 20 grams or less of marijuana to another person, or growing less than 100 grams of marijuana are each considered “minor misdemeanors,” punishable by a maximum fine of $150. A minor misdemeanor is not a “jailable” offense, but a person’s driver’s license can be suspended for a period ranging from six months to five years.
While Ohio’s marijuana penalties are less draconian than its neighbors, law enforcement officers are still wasting valuable time and resources. In 2012, Ohio officers arrested or cited 14,374 people for marijuana-related offenses, 94% of which were for possession only. At the same time, 91.6% of all reported burglaries — including home invasions — and 90% of all motor vehicle thefts went unsolved.
Ohio Cannabis News