State Senate votes to expand decriminalization policy; state medical board adds wasting syndrome as qualifying condition for medical cannabis
Last update: July 9, 2020
In late June, the Ohio Senate passed a bill (24-5) to double the amount of cannabis considered a misdemeanor offense carrying no jail time from 100 to 200 grams. If the legislation is ultimately adopted, possession of 200 grams or less would remain illegal, but individuals would face a civil penalty and fine of $150 instead of an arrest. The bill also lessens penalties for other drug-related offenses.
Meanwhile, the State Medical Board of Ohio added cachexia (also known as wasting syndrome) to the list of approved conditions for medical cannabis. A subcommittee rejected requests to add autism and anxiety to the qualifying conditions list.
For individuals who are not registered as a medical marijuana patients, 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.
In recent years, efforts to decriminalize marijuana possession at the local level in cities around Ohio have been met with success, including a recent victory in Cincinnati. Read more about some of the work advocates are doing on this issue here. More and more Ohioans are ready for change and believe that marijuana should be legal for adults. They see that marijuana prohibition has failed and only undermines public health and safety. It’s time for Ohio to move forward, stop arresting people for marijuana, and adopt a sensible system of legalization.