History of Cannabis and CBD: Ohio
Over the past few years, pro cannabis legislation has been introduced up all throughout Ohio. As national waves of support for legalization have hit the populace, more municipalities and state governments continue to iterate their support for sensible decriminalization policies.
Since the mid-seventies, cannabis possession of up to one hundred grams has been decriminalized in Ohio. Specific townships and counties have opted to make non-violent drug offenses the lowest priority for local police departments.
However, the state still has a long way to go before complete cannabis legalization can be achieved.
Cannabis, CBD, and Ohio
In 1975, Ohio became the sixth state to pass a bill decriminalizing cannabis possession. Currently, possessing up to one hundred grams of marijuana only results in a fine of $150, no jail time, and no criminal record.
This makes Ohio one of the laxest out of the states that have not yet fully legalized cannabis use, distribution, and sale through authorized vendors. Ohio residents may still be charged with a minor misdemeanor for carrying over one hundred grams, which can incur a thirty-day jail sentence and recurring fines.
Now more than ever, state legislators and non-profit organizations are vying for increasing decriminalization. According to some studies, black and Latino populations are targeted much more heavily by police than white individuals caught possessing marijuana.
It’s taken several failed ballot measures before Ohio successfully legalized medical marijuana in early 2016.
Most infamously, a ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana failed miserably at the polls. Reports found that conservative voters came out in droves to prevent the measure from being passed, despite broad support for legalization throughout the state.
By June 2016, Governor Kasich signed HB-532 that legalized medical cannabis. State run licensing programs are tasked with vetting crops, distributors, and vendors who have opted into the dispensary program.
Interestingly, part of the bill has created a stipulation for legal interstate commerce. Unlike any other medical marijuana bill, those with over a dozen qualifying conditions are legally sanctioned to source their cannabis from Michigan until the dispensary program is in full effect.
Aside from statewide legislation, municipalities have been passing pro-cannabis legislation for years. In 2015, the city of Toledo voted to completely decriminalize cannabis offenses. Other cities have passed legislation urging for the full legalization of cannabis, citing the enormous tax revenue it would bring. In fact, Columbus became one of the first American cities to bring the possession fine down to a mere ten dollars.
However, municipal reform has not occurred without drama. Major tenets have been struck down in local and circuit courts as the state challenges the legality of drug reform.