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Ohio Medical Marijuana Law

The Ohio medical marijuana law was passed in 2016.  While it does not legalize all use and possession of marijuana, it legalizes medical use of marijuana.  Strict guidelines must be followed.  If those guidelines are not followed, then possessing the marijuana is still a crime. 

How Do You Obtain Medical Marijuana?

In order to obtain medical marijuana, one must do the following:

  • See an approved doctor once per year.
  • The doctor must confirm that you have one of the approved ailments
  • The doctor then registers you to the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy patient registry; the doctor does not write a prescription, but can recommend up to a 90 day supply with up to 3 refills.
  • You then go to the dispensary, who must verify that you are a registered patient.
  • The dispensary will select the appropriate medical marijuana for you.

What Are The Qualifying Medical Conditions?

The medical conditions covered by the medical marijuana law include: HIV/AIDS, Alzheimer’s, ALS, Cancer, CTE, Crohn’s, Epilepsy, Fibromyalgia, Glaucoma, Hepatitis C, Inflammatory bowel disease, Multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, Parkinson’s, PTSD, Sickle cell anemia, spinal cord disease or injury, Tourette’s syndrome, traumatic brain injury, and Ulcerative colitis.

How Does The Ohio Medical Marijuana Law Legalize Possession?

The Ohio medical marijuana law does not legalize possession of marijuana outside of its original packaging.  Of course, you may possess the amount you take out of the package for a single use, as long as you use it promptly.  The law does not allow possession of CBD oil. 

Medical marijuana cannot be transported by mail or delivery service.  Only a caregiver or the patient can deliver or transport medical marijuana.  A person can be a caregiver for up to two patients.  A caregiver can be a medical marijuana patient. 

In order to transport medical marijuana in your vehicle, you must have a medical marijuana card or a caregiver card and the medical marijuana must be in its original packaging.  The police departments have access to the database in order to confirm the validity of the card.  Police are looking to see if you possess more than a 90 day supply per card.  A patient who is a caregiver for two patients can transport up to three 90 day supplies of medical marijuana.  For now, police may decide to search your vehicle for other drugs if you are in possession of medical marijuana; the courts will eventually weigh in on this and decide what the police can and cannot do in this situation.

Federal law does not allow possession of marijuana.  While the federal government does not intend to infringe upon the states’ legalization of marijuana, that could change.  However, the federal government will not allow possession of marijuana on federal land.  This includes national parks.

Is The Law A Defense To Crimes?

The Ohio medical marijuana law is a defense to some, but not all, related crimes.  The law is an affirmative defense to possession of marijuana.  The law is not a defense to OVI or DUI.  For now, it may not be a defense to possession in states other than Ohio.  That may change soon. 

Attorney Daniel Gigiano.  Aggressive.  Knowledgeable.  Experienced.

Attorney Daniel Gigiano has practiced criminal law since 1993.  In 2002, he started his current firm, Daniel F. Gigiano Co., L.P.A., where he regularly defends individuals in criminal and juvenile cases.  Attorney Daniel Gigiano’s office is located in downtown Wadsworth, Medina County, Ohio, and he can be reached at 330-336-3330.