Medical marijuana is legal in Ohio. However, many medical marijuana patients purchase their medical marijuana from Michigan. Why?
According to a news report in The Columbus Dispatch, patients can purchase medical marijuana for less in Michigan. According to one patient, medical marijuana costs twice as much in Ohio as it does in Michigan. Another patient claims that Michigan prices are still cheaper even when the factors in the travel costs.
The cost of medical marijuana in Ohio should decrease once the industry has a chance to catch up with other states, according to officials. However, Michigan has a substantial head start compared to Ohio. Medical marijuana has been legal in Michigan for over a decade, and now recreational marijuana is legal to purchase since December 2019.
Transporting Marijuana Across State Lines is Illegal
Patients who want to save money face criminal drug charges for transporting marijuana across state lines. Even though medical marijuana is legal in both Ohio and Michigan, it is a crime to bring medical marijuana into Ohio from another state. Ohio residents can legally purchase medical marijuana in Michigan, but they need to use the product before returning home.
Ohio patients had a short 60-day window to purchase and transport medical marijuana across the state line from Michigan. The state granted the window when it first established the patient registry in 2018 before the first dispensary in Ohio opened.
An agreement between the two states to allow Ohio medical marijuana cardholders to purchase and transport the substance may be under discussion. No agreement has been finalized.
Marijuana Charges in Ohio
Even though you have a medical marijuana card, remember that it is illegal to drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. You could be charged with impaired driving if you have any substance in your system that impairs your ability to drive, including prescription medications.
Ohio has not legalized recreational marijuana. Therefore, it remains a crime to have any marijuana in your possession without a valid medical marijuana license. However, marijuana charges are generally not prosecuted as severely as other drug charges.
The penalty for having 100 grams or less of marijuana in your possession is a misdemeanor. The crime is punishable by a $150 fine and no jail time. However, if you have a substantial amount of marijuana in your possession, you could face severe penalties.
For example, having over 40,000 grams of marijuana in your possession is a second-degree felony. The punishment is up to eight years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Even if you are charged with a minor marijuana charge, it can be beneficial to speak with a criminal defense lawyer. It is always good to know your legal rights, understand the charges against you, and review your options for handling the marijuana charges before you go to court or speak with a prosecutor.
Ohio Views Drug Charges Very Seriously
All other drug crimes in Ohio are considered serious criminal charges. Some drug charges are misdemeanors, while other charges are felonies. Regardless of the charge, you need to take the matter seriously.
A drug conviction on any level can have long-term implications. You could lose your job because of the drug charges. Your drug charges could also impact a child custody case.
Before you do anything, talk with a criminal defense lawyer about the drug charges. Get the facts about drug offenses in Ohio and discuss your options for defending yourself against the charges.
Common drug offenses in Ohio include:
- Possession of a controlled substance
- Aggravated possession of drugs
- Cultivating or manufacturing drugs
- Administering illegal drugs to another person
- Possession or use of drug paraphernalia
- Selling or distributing drugs
- Possession of drugs in a school zone
- Forging a prescription for controlled substances
If you are arrested on drug charges, do not talk to the police. Talking to the police does not benefit you in most cases. It is best to remain silent and ask for an attorney.
Depending on the charges against you, you could be facing aggravated penalties. Aggravated penalties result in more severe punishments for drug offenses, even for first-time offenders.
You could be facing significant jail time, fines, and other penalties for a drug conviction. However, an attorney analyzes your case to determine your options for fighting the charges and minimizing the punishments. In some cases, an attorney might help you avoid jail and have your charges dismissed by entering a court-ordered treatment program.
You cannot know your options until you meet with a lawyer. Do not trust the police or the prosecutor to give you advice that is in your best interest. They want a conviction; your drug crimes attorney has your best interests as his top priority.