Is Weed Legal in Ohio?

The Buckeye State wouldn’t be named after that for no reason – but among the most asked questions about it is its cannabis legalization. Is weed legal in Ohio? Would you incur thousands of dollars in fines and multiple years of jail time if you’re caught carrying or possessing marijuana?

In this article, we will be unraveling whether Ohio is a 420-friendly state or not!

Ohio’s Cannabis Legalization Journey


Like many other states, the journey of the legalization of marijuana in the state of Ohio has been a roller-coaster ride. A lot of people did not expect the overall results of the legalization, especially given the history of both the substance and the state, but now, let us unravel the truth behind it!

Start of Decriminalization

The decriminalization of the substance was first started as early as the 22nd of August 1975, when Governor James Rhodes signed the decriminalization bill. This placed the state of Ohio the sixth (6th) US state to do so.

Under the decriminalization, people who will be caught possessing and carrying up to 100 grams of marijuana will be classified as “minor misdemeanor,” resulting in fines that can go as high as $150. Then, people who will be caught carrying or possessing 100++ grams but less than 200 grams are considered misdemeanor, punishable with a maximum of a $250-fine and incarceration of up to a month or 30 days.

Failed Legalization Proposal in 2015

Then, in the year 2015, Issue 3, a measure to allow cannabis recreational use was boarded and defeated. The approval of Issue 3 was actually a reform that could have had:

  • Legalized cannabis use
  • Allowed commercial-scale cultivation
  • Allowed people 21 years or older to posses up to a single ounce and up to 8 ounces of personal or private cultivation

Unfortunately, the support that the Issue 3 had was weak. It has been criticized for the plan of making a cannabis monopoly.

Medical Cannabis Legalization

Then, on the following year, Governor John Kasich signed House Bill 523 into law, which was the approval of medical cannabis in the state of Ohio.

What the bill was, was a set of rules that governed the operations of medical and medicinal cannabis in the state of Ohio. As per it, licensed and/or state-run testing labs, growing facilities, physician and patient certification, as well as retail dispensaries are to be established.”

That’s it for the journey of Ohio’s marijuana rules, laws, and regulations. Let us now go towards the path of finding out whether or not it is completely legal for the state!

Is Weed Legal in Ohio? Know the Truth Behind It

Is Weed Legal in Ohio Know the Truth Behind It

So, let’s get onto the question that a lot of you have been itching to have answered – is marijuana legal in Ohio? To answer it short and simply, it’s not.

The state is, in no way, allowing the use and consumption of marijuana in recreational or leisure purposes. Unless you are a medical patient, you’ll have this type of allowance to carry, possess, and/or consume cannabis, given that it is within the rightful rules and regulations of the state.

But wasn’t cannabis decriminalized in the state? We know – it’s hella confusing, and we don’t want that to happen!

So, for you to have a better and a more wholesome understanding of this, let’s discuss this in two (2) separate scenarios – medical cannabis and recreational cannabis.

Medical Cannabis

Medical Cannabis

In Ohio, there are about a few instances where medical or medicinal marijuana is allowed. Unlike some states, though, Ohio’s aren’t that much limited. In fact, the qualified medical conditions are:

  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • AIDS or Acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Severe or Chronic Arthritis (Even just arthritis would do)
  • Wasting Syndrome or Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • CTE or Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV (positive status)
  • Huntington’s disease*
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Migraine (chronic migraine, too)
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Spasticity*
  • Spinal cord disease or injury
  • Terminal illness*
  • Tourette’s syndrome
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Ulcerative colitis

If you’re experiencing chronic, severe, or intractable pain, that is also qualified, given that the condition is not something that is relatively acquired.

Recreational Cannabis

In a single answer – it is completely illegal in Ohio. Under the federal law of the state, the substance is illicit and subject to certain fines and penalties. The good side of it, though, is that it has been decriminalized, meaning, the fines and penalties for it have been lessened and decreased.

Just last year, petitions of allowing or legalizing recreational cannabis has been trashed. It received 130,000+ signatures forcing the legislature state to reconsider and revisit it. Following that, the legislature was not able to pass the proposal, they’ve been forced to recollect 130,000 more valid signatures to place the proposal on the ballot.

This will then go to the 2023 ballot in putting the proposal.

We can’t blame you if you’re still confused about it, I mean, everyone is! That’s why we made this article, to help and guide you all the way in making sure that you understand it clearly.

Decriminalized vs. Criminalized Possession in Ohio

Decriminalized vs. Criminalized Possession in Ohio

The fact that marijuana has been decriminalized in the state is a clear indication that the penalties and fines in place have already surfaced and have been lightened. But, that does not mean that you can just walk around carrying or possessing cannabis right in your pocket.

What this means is not all possessions in the state are considered criminal. The decriminalization only meant misdemeanor and light penalties instead of it going straight to felony.

To wrap it all up and for you to have the best understanding of things, let’s take a look at the different laws and penalties surrounding the possession of it.

Ohio Laws and Penalties

Below are different tables that outline the different laws and penalties related to cannabis in the state of Ohio.

Possession of Cannabis

Possession of Cannabis

The possession of cannabis can be anything from carrying it, having it inside the car, or having it at home.

Offense or Amount of MarijuanaPenaltyImprisonmentMaximum Fine
100 grams or lessMisdemeanorNo imprisonment$150
100 grams to 200 gramsMisdemeanor30 days$250
200 grams to 1,000 gramsFelony1 year$2,500
1,000 grams to 20,000 gramsFelony1 year to 5 years$10,000
20,000 grams to 40,000 gramsFelony5 years to 8 years$15,000
40,000 grams or moreFelony8 years minimum$20,000

Sale or Distribution of Cannabis

The sale or distribution of cannabis can be as simple as sharing it to other people. It’s not always you pushing or selling it, sometimes, it is as light as sharing or parting it with others.

Offense or Amount of MarijuanaPenaltyImprisonmentMaximum Fine
Gift of about 20 grams or less for the first offenseMisdemeanorNo imprisonment$150
Gift of about 20 grams or less for the second offenseMisdemeanor60 days$500
200 grams or lessFelony1 year$2,500
200 grams to 1,000 gramsFelony18 months$2,500
1,000 grams to 20,000 gramsFelony1 years to 5 years$10,000
20,000 grams to 40,000 gramsFelony5 years to 8 years$15,000
More than 40,000 gramsFelony8 years$20,000

NOTE: For minors, people who are caught within 1,000 feet of a school, within 100 feet of a juvenile, or by someone who had previous drug convictions will have increased incarceration and fine instances.

Cultivation of Cannabis

Lastly, the cultivation or the growing of cannabis is also something that needs to be eyed on simply because people would have the ability to grow and cultivate cannabis on their own, within the state – which is illegal.

To know about the cultivation and growing of cannabis, refer to the table for possession – they have the same grounds.

In case you’re still clouded with a few questions, here are the most asked and most commonly thrown ones as regards the legalization of weed or marijuana in Ohio!

Is it Legal to Smoke Weed in Ohio?

No, it is not. Recreational marijuana use remains to be illicit in the state. Therefore, even if the substance has been effectively decriminalized, that doesn’t mean everyone can use it.

How Much Weed Can You Drive and Carry in Ohio?

Based on the penalties and fines, being caught with marijuana with less than 100 grams will result in a penalty of misdemeanor and a maximum fine that can go as high as $150. Going over that will automatically have incarceration penalties plus fines.

Final Thoughts

Are you confident with the answer? Do you now know whether or not you can carry and have it if you are within the state? Hopefully we were able to shed some light as regards to it!

The next time you stop and ask, is weed legal in Ohio, you don’t need to find it on your own! Simply go back to this guide and you will find all the answers to the questions you’re looking for without breaking a sweat!

Christopher Andrews
I am Christopher Andrew, the owner of 420 Expert Adviser. I have been in cannabis cultivation for more than ten years, and I'm sharing my experience with you guys using this blog!

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