How Will the New Cincinnati Pot Law Affect You?
Cincinnati City Council has voted to decriminalize the possession of marijuana within the city limits.
Replacing the city's previous ordinance on marijuana, the new minor misdemeanor for possession of cannabis will carry no jail time, fines, or criminal record as long as you possess less than 100 grams (roughly 3.5 ounces). While marijuana penalties throughout the state have been eased in recent years, the removal of a criminal record for possession could be the biggest development, as a record of criminal drug use can have very negative effects for your job and your future.
What does this new law mean for residents and visitors of Cincinnati and the surrounding municiplaities, townships, and counties?
Beware: The New Cincinnati Marijuana Law is Very Narrow
The Cincinnati law lifts the penalties for marijuana possession in amounts of 100 grams or less. That's enough marijuana for about 200 marijuana cigarettes.
You could still face charges for marijuana possession in greater amounts.
You could still face charges for marijuana possession in areas close to Cincinnati but outside of city limits.
There are still restrictions on public consumption of the drug.
Marijuana OVI laws still apply.
Recreational Pot Use Is Still Illegal Throughout Ohio
Cincinnati has decriminalized pot use; it is still illegal. How this will play out with local law enforcement remains to be seen. There will be no fine, jail, or criminal record for those found with 100 g of pot or less in their possession.
Ohio laws governing other amounts of marijuana possession remain in effect both within the city of Cincinnati and surrounding areas.
Outside Cincinnati City Limits
Although medical marijuana is now legal throughout Ohio, recreational use is not (What's Legal in Ohio Marijuana Law?). While you might not find yourself in any serious trouble within the city of Cincinnati for having small amounts of cannabis products for personal use, you can still be charged with a minor misdemeanor in areas surrounding the city, outside the jurisdiction of the municipality. In Ohio, a minor misdemeanor carries a $150 fine, and a public record of the offense (but usually does not include jail time).
Ohio marijuana law may still be enforced anywhere in the state outside the city limits of Cincinnati. Other Ohio municipalities and townships may also pass their own ordinances imposing even stiffer restrictions and penalties.
Is Smoking Pot Legal Now?
Public consumption of marijuana in Cincinnati remains illegal. This includes smoking marijuana in public.
Continue to be careful about using marijuana in Ohio and even within Cincinnati city limits.
Remember, even though marijuana has been decriminalized in Cincinnati, OVI laws within the city and throughout the state remain unchanged.
Even if you have not used marijuana in the last several days, you could come up positive on an OVI blood or urine test for marijuana or marijuana metabolite. (Driving Stoned: Ohio Marijuana OVI Law)
This is true for any use of marijuana, including legal medical marijuana. (Medical Marijuana: OVI Trap?).
Contact the law offices of Dearie, Fischer & Mathews, LLC if you have been charged with any marijuana or other drug related offense and are concerned about its effect on your record. Our attorneys have decades of experience in the local courts, in the Cincinnati and Dayton areas, and we understand the different and sometimes confusing marijuana laws throughout the state, and will help you protect your rights and your record.
For Warren County lawyer, Butler County lawyer, or Hamilton County lawyer, contact our Lebanon office at (513) 932-5529.
For Montgomery County or Greene County lawyer, contact our Beavercreek office at (937) 306-6403.