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Marijuana charges in Ohio are serious business

Even though Ohio has passed a decriminalization law, those who possess, use and manufacture marijuana still risk citation, arrest and prosecution. While people in Ohio are allowed to possess or cultivate as many as 100 grams of marijuana and can gift 20 grams to another person, law enforcement in the state still regularly cites people for possession.

Those who cultivate may find that a single plant could push them outside of the "minor misdemeanor" classification, as a single plant will likely weigh much more than 3-4 ounces. If you've been arrested or cited in connection with marijuana offenses, retaining an attorney is the best first step.

The Ohio medical marijuana law may or may not help

Ohio's medical marijuana law offers little to no protection for the average marijuana user facing charges in the state. Although the law went into effect in September 2016, there will be roughly two years of work before it is fully implemented, with an estimated year of work required just to have the full terms of the program in writing.

Those who are facing charges and who suffer from one of the qualifying conditions protected under the law may be afforded the right to an affirmative defense. Working with an experienced defense attorney who understands the state marijuana laws is the best way to determine if this will work for you.

There are big consequences for minor offenses

While many people who simply have a little bit of marijuana on them will avoid serious criminal charges, there are many other consequences to consider. First, those cited for marijuana offenses can have their driver's license suspended for six months to five years. Secondly, employers can and often do look into drug-related misdemeanor offenses, as well as felonies, when performing background checks. Finally, if you face marijuana-related charges in the future, the previous charges could result in a harder time mounting a defense. Don't risk it - speak with a defense attorney as soon as you're arrested or cited.

The right legal representation matters in drug cases

Particularly for those facing charges related to the manufacture or sale of marijuana, having an experienced defense attorney with a track record of successfully defending clients facing marijuana charges can make all the difference. While Ohio is somewhat more reasonable in its approach to criminal prosecution of marijuana users, sellers, and producers than its neighbors, those who are charged with these crimes in Ohio still face life-altering consequences.

Don't gamble with your freedom, your assets and your future. Retain an experienced, dedicated criminal defense attorney to protect yourself and your family!

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Edward R. La Rue
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