Defending Against Marijuana Charges

different forms of marijuana

Even though many states—including Ohio—have relaxed their stance on marijuana charges, it can still be a serious issue if you are facing charges related to marijuana. You need the best marijuana charges defense available, which means you need the best criminal defense attorney available. Ohio fairly recently (November 7, 2023) voted “yes” on the legalization of recreational marijuana, although it generally takes a significant amount of time for these recreational marijuana laws to go into effect. Since the medical legalization of marijuana in Ohio in 2016, more than 60,000 individuals have been arrested for cannabis-related offenses. If you are facing marijuana charges, experienced criminal defense attorney Jon Horwitz of Horwitz & Horwitz is ready to help you achieve the best outcome possible. 

What are the Marijuana-Related Drug Charges in Ohio?

Under Ohio’s Revised Code, an individual is allowed to possess up to 70 grams of cannabis with no penalty. Possession of 70-100 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of $150. Possession of 100-200 grams of marijuana is a misdemeanor with a maximum penalty of $250, and up to 30 days in jail. Possession of more than 200 grams of marijuana turns into a felony, and, depending on the amount in possession, can result in fines as large as $15,000, and incarceration from one year to eight years. 

For the criminal offense of selling marijuana (distribution or trafficking), adults over the age of 21 can sell up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana with no charges or penalties involved. The sale of more than 2.5 ounces of marijuana, up to 200 grams is a felony that can result in fines as large as $2,500 and up to one year in jail. Sale of 200 grams of marijuana up to and exceeding 40,000 grams have increased penalties—from fines between $5,000 and $20,000 and 18 months to 8 years in prison. 

Selling to a minor within 1,000 feet of a school or selling within 100 feet of a juvenile can increase the fines and term of imprisonment. An individual is allowed to cultivate up to 6 plants in a private residence, or no more than 12 per household of more than one adult with no penalties. Any drug conviction (including a paraphernalia conviction) can result in the suspension of your driver’s license for between 6 months and 5 years, depending on the specific conviction. 

What is the Role of Medical Marijuana and Potential Legalization in Ohio?

Regarding medical marijuana access, twenty-five illnesses qualify for treatment under current Ohio legislation. These include AIDS, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Cachexia, cancer, CTE, Crohn’s, epilepsy, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, Hepatitis C, Huntington’s, IBD, MS, severe, chronic, or intractable pain, Parkinson’s, positive HIV status, PTSD, sickle-cell anemia, spasticity, spinal cord injury or disease, terminal illness, Tourette’s TBI, and ulcerative colitis. Other conditions, including arthritis, chronic migraines, and complex regional pain syndrome also qualify for medical marijuana treatment.  

Conditions awaiting a vote from the Ohio Medical Board’s Committee include anxiety, autism, bipolar disorder, depression, neuropathy, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and uterine cancer.  To obtain a medical marijuana card in Ohio, you must be a resident of the state, those under the age of 18 must have consent from their legal guardian, you must establish and maintain a bona fide relationship with an Ohio medical marijuana doctor, and that doctor must confirm you suffer from one of the qualifying conditions. 

The legalization of recreational marijuana unfortunately faces “sweeping changes” from GOP legislators in the state.  Ohio Senate Republicans are proposing a ban on at-home growing, which would increase the tax rate for marijuana products as well as alter how those taxes are distributed. Advocates for the passage of the recreational marijuana law say the Ohio GOP is gutting the law passed by Ohio citizens because of their personal opposition to it. 

A higher tax rate on recreational marijuana will further entrench the illicit market, forcing Ohioans to continue purchasing their marijuana in Michigan—which is not what voters wanted. The tax revenues from recreational marijuana would go to general state funding, safe driver training, law enforcement training, and substance abuse prevention and treatment. Under the original statute, those tax revenues would have gone to local governments hosting dispensaries as well as to a social equity program that supported those wishing to break into the marijuana industry. These changes could also alter the laws pertaining to recreational marijuana.

Facing an outcry from the Ohio citizens who passed the recreational marijuana bill, lawmakers are backing away from some of their original proposed changes but doubling down on and adding others. The House is considering allowing the home-grow option for up to six plants per adult, and 12 plants per household, while proposing a prohibition on sharing of marijuana between adults—including giving away any home-grown cannabis.

Smoking marijuana in public laws would be similar to current tobacco laws, and advertising for cannabis would also be similarly restricted. Revised Senate measures would allow only six plants per household and would only legalize possession of marijuana from retailers or home-cultivated products. The final outcome of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Ohio remains to be seen.

How Can an Experienced Attorney Help You Plan Your Marijuana Charges Defense?

An Ohio arrest on a marijuana charge can result in a wide range of penalties, even though both medical and recreational marijuana are legal in the state. As Ohio’s recreational marijuana laws continue to evolve, there is significant confusion regarding marijuana arrests and charges. When you have a highly experienced marijuana defense lawyer from Horwitz & Horwitz, you will be able to much more easily navigate the court system and obtain the best outcome possible.

At Horwitz & Horwitz, attorney Jon Horwitz will provide knowledgeable, aggressive criminal defense in response to your marijuana charges. It is important to remember that while many states have legalized medical and recreational marijuana, federally, it remains illegal, so if you are being charged federally, you need an attorney who can deal with federal charges or state charges. You are probably worried about your future following marijuana charges—and with good reason.

A sentence of months or years in prison, thousands of dollars in fines, and a felony conviction on your record can alter your life for many years to come. Attorney Jon Horwitz is a highly experienced Centerville marijuana charges defense attorney. Jon knows how to fight marijuana charges and significantly limit sentences. As a highly experienced negotiator, Jon may attempt to negotiate a lesser crime or lesser sentences, however, Jon is also a skilled, aggressive litigator who never hesitates to take your case to court.

Why Hiring an Experienced Horwitz & Horwitz Marijuana Charges Attorney Can Make a Difference

When facing marijuana charges in the state of Ohio, you must immediately seek highly qualified legal representation. Attorney Jon Horwitz understands the stress your marijuana charges are causing you and will walk you through the process while answering all your questions in an easy-to-understand manner. When you hire Horwitz & Horwitz, we will work hard on your behalf to achieve the best outcome possible.

That outcome could include a dismissal of your marijuana charges, an acquittal of all charges, or an alternative to incarceration—perhaps in the form of completion of a diversion program. Jon will discuss the strength of the evidence against you, and then clearly explain your options. Contact Horwitz & Horwitz today for exemplary legal representation for your marijuana charges. We help those in Centerville, Springboro, Beavercreek, Miamisburg, and Kettering.