Jul 102012
 July 10, 2012

ohio marijuanaPossession Of Marijuana Paraphernalia In Ohio Currently Carries A Higher Penalty Than Possession Of Actual Marijuana

By this Fall, Ohio will start treating people caught with marijuana paraphernalia the same way it treats people who get most traffic tickets. Senate Bill 337 got lots of attention when Ohio Gov. Kasich signed it last week. But, apparently what a lot of people missed was the part of the legislation that decriminalized possession of most marijuana paraphernalia. The current classification for marijuana paraphernalia possession in Ohio is a fourth-degree misdemeanor. The new law would make the same act a minor misdemeanor.

The bill was sponsored by Ohio State Senators Shirley Smith of Cleveland and Bill Seitz of Cincinnati.

“You could get caught with paraphernalia that people use for marijuana, and get more time for the paraphernalia than you would for a small amount of marijuana.” Senator Smith told WKSU.

Believe it or not, Ohio has the highest non-criminal possession limit in the country. Possession of less than 100 grams of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor, which carries no possibility of prison time and a small fine. Compare that with someone convicted of a fourth-degree misdemeanor, who could spend up to 30 days in jail. It’s nice to know that there are at least some lawmakers out there that have common sense!

The bill goes into effect Sept. 28. WKSU’s M.L. Schultze talks about it in the audio below. Also, thanks to TWB reader Ben for bringing this to our attention!:

Ohio 7-9-12

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About Johnny Green

Johnny Green is a marijuana activist from Oregon. He has a Bachelor's Degree in Public Policy. Follow Johnny Green on Facebook and Twitter. Also, feel free to email any concerns.
  • http://www.facebook.com/Liftedj Justin Jonker

    One step for heads and a leap towards nation wide decriminalization

  • Bob Nuggs

    Being from Ohio, This is a major step in the right direction…..The penalties for Paraphernalia are much worse than the penalties for possession of Marijuana…What gets me is that you can walk in to any tobacco store & purchase paraphernalia legally (under the guise of it being used for tobacco)…Walk out the door & be arrested…PURE NONSENSE !!!

    • Joe

      I don’t think that’s how it works… Doesn’t it have to have marijuana residue in it?

      • Kasspa

        Yes.

        • Duncan20903

          You should ask Tommy Chong if that’s true.

  • Rick

    I’m so glad to hear that someone has some common sense. It’s time to decriminalize marijuana and stop putting good, productive citizens in jail for a choice that is better then alcohol! You have to have some way of smoking it too so whats the big deal?? I don’t smoke it but I know it’s a healthier choice than becoming an alcoholic!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Risinger-Jr/1288783913 Thomas Risinger Jr

      It can also be eaten, rather than smoked. THC disolves easier in oil or alcohol than it does in water. Cooking it in clarified butter is safer than boiling grain alcohol on the stove. Then it can be cooked into any dish you like.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Thomas-Risinger-Jr/1288783913 Thomas Risinger Jr

    Since Indiana is a reciprocal state w/ Ohio (for collected taxes), maybe they’ll follow suit regarding hemp legalization.

  • http://soulguides.net DavePrice

    The police would throw out the pot and arrest you for the baggy. It is a shame to see how far the fascism has gone, its nice to see someone fighting agaisnt it. Surprises me a Tea Party governor would sign it.. I doubt a Demopublican would.. I know a Libertarian would strike the whole law down!

  • http://www.facebook.com/phillip.lowe.7 Phillip Lowe

    Do you think it would be ok if i use that photo on a website called legalizeohio.com

  • bigjon7894

    i smoke weed everyday and im still smarter than any cop that ive ever met and im only 18

  • Braydi

    The other night I was convicted of a fourth degree paraphernalia charge for having a glass jar with a little bit of marijuana in it. It was not mine, but since I was driving the car the police officer charged me with both possession and paraphernalia. I do not smoke, and I was just trying to get my brother and his friends home from a party they were at.

    I was planning on going into Biological Engineering next year at The Ohio State University, but I know if said conviction goes through I can kiss my degree goodbye seeing how competitive the field is nowadays. I have a completely clean record, and a current 4.0 for my Associate of Science degree and I’m wondering if cases like this normally lead to a record, or is there a way for me to do community service or a diversion program in order to avoid the record.

    Again, this is my life that is on the line. I have already began my work on publishing my first research paper as an undergraduate and I’m applying for REU’s this summer. Anything that keeps me away from my passion will surely destroy my life.

    If anyone has ANY advice I would be extremely grateful to hear it. Especially if you have had a similar experience.

    In regards to this page, I am very thankful that they are continuing to decriminalize this petty crime. It should not lead to as much destruction as it does. I know many brilliant minds that have had there lives destroyed not by using marijuana, but being convicted of using marijuana. These laws are completely counter-productive.