Can I Get Arrested in Ohio If I Bought Marijuana Elsewhere?

Can I Get Arrested in Ohio If I Bought Marijuana Elsewhere? Different states have different laws for the possession of marijuana. Some states permit medical marijuana, subject to certain conditions such as having a specific type of disease. Some states permit small amounts of marijuana for personal use, provided the user doesn’t grow or sell the marijuana. In a world where people cross state lines every day, there are questions about the laws of different states and the interplay of the various state laws. For example, can you buy marijuana in another state where the purchase is legal and then use it in Ohio?

What are the current marijuana laws in Ohio?

People who reside in Ohio can use medical marijuana. Per state law, “medical marijuana means marijuana that is cultivated, processed, dispensed, tested, possessed, or used for a medical purpose.” In order to possess and consume medical marijuana:

  • The user must be a registered patient. To obtain a medical marijuana card in Ohio, the user must be a valid registered patient with the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program. To become a valid registered patient, the user must have a recommendation from an approved physician for medical marijuana. The patient can apply for a marijuana card online. Once they have a card, they can start buying medical marijuana in Ohio.
  • Residency. The applicant for an Ohio medical marijuana card must be an Ohio resident.
  • Age. The applicant must be 18 or older, or a legal parent or guardian must register as the applicant’s “designated caregiver.” This caregiver then has the authority to buy medical marijuana for the applicant and distribute it to the minor according to the instructions from the physician.
  • Identification. Acceptable forms of ID to verify age and residency include a valid Ohio driver’s license, official Ohio state ID card, or a current US passport. The documents should have the applicant’s name, address, and birthdate.
  • Amount of marijuana. Residents can only possess up to a 45-day supply from a licensed dispensary.

Approved medical uses include:

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Cancer
  • Chronic traumatic encephalopathy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy or another seizure disorder
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Positive status for HIV
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

(Other diseases or conditions may be added by the Ohio medical board.)

As of 2020, the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program made it legal for medical marijuana physicians to use telehealth services to examine the patient and write the medical marijuana recommendation.

If you don’t have a qualifying doctor, you can find one through the Ohio State Medical Board.

Possession and use of non-medical marijuana in Columbus

Residents of Ohio cannot legally possess or use marijuana other than authorized medical marijuana. Possession of less than 3.6 grams of weed is considered a minor misdemeanor. Possession of larger amounts of marijuana may result in more serious charges, large fines, and imprisonment. Generally, possession of less than 200 grams is a misdemeanor. Possession of 200 grams or more is a felony. Our drug defense lawyers will explain what penalties apply depending on the amount of marijuana. Some exceptions may apply depending on where you live.

Ohio does have a November 2023 ballot initiative to legalize recreational (small amounts of) marijuana. According to Ballotpedia, the Ohio marijuana legalization initiative would enact a state law that legalizes “the cultivation, processing, sale, purchase, possession, home growth, and use of recreational marijuana for adults 21 years of age or older.

If enacted, the law would permit adults to possess up to 2.5 ounces of cannabis and up to 15 grams of marijuana concentrates. In addition, individuals “would be able to grow six marijuana plants at home or up to 12 plants per household.”

If approved by the voters, Ballotpedia reports the initiative would also:

Enact a 10% cannabis tax rate on adult-use sales and dedicate revenue to fund ‘a cannabis social equity and jobs program’ to “provide financial assistance and license application support to individuals most directly and adversely impacted by the enforcement of marijuana-related laws.”  The funds would be used for substance abuse and addiction programs and for the Division of Cannabis Control (established by the initiative to oversee the state’s cannabis industry).

Can Ohio residents buy marijuana in another state?

The out-of-state laws for marijuana purchases are complicated. There are many considerations:

  • If you live in Ohio, can you go to another state and purchase marijuana in that state?
  • If another state permits out-of-state residents to buy marijuana in their state, can you buy the marijuana and then bring it back to Ohio?
  • Can you buy marijuana online from another state through the internet?
  • Are you buying medical marijuana or recreational marijuana?

Generally, if you live in Ohio, you are bound by Ohio’s marijuana laws. If you could buy the marijuana in another state, you will likely not be able to bring the marijuana back into Ohio, physically or via mail.

Some exceptions may apply. Some states do permit out-of-state residents to buy medical marijuana, provided the out-of-state resident has an approved medical marijuana card and the state permits out-of-state medical purchases. Ohio currently does not accept out-of-state medical marijuana purchases.

Our lawyers will explain the circumstances of when you can purchase and possess medical marijuana. If you do not have a valid medical marijuana card, then it is unlikely another state will permit you to purchase medical marijuana. In the same vein, recreational marijuana purchases made in a legal state cannot be brought back to Ohio where it is currently against the law.

An arrest for possession or use of marijuana is scary. You could be sentenced to jail. At Soroka & Associates, our drug defense lawyers work to show you had legal permission to possess and use your marijuana. We fight to suppress drug possession evidence on the grounds the police violated your Constitutional rights. Our lawyers work to obtain dismissals and acquittals because the government can’t prove the charges. To speak with an experienced Columbus criminal defense lawyer, call us at 614-358-6525 or fill out our contact form to schedule a free consultation.