The Penalties for Marijuana Possession in Ohio
Interviewer: Let’s talk about marijuana. Do you see a lot of possession cases? What are the legal consequences of marijuana possession? Is it a misdemeanor or a felony?
Marijuana Possession Is a Misdemeanor Charge: Usually, There Will Be Additional Charges Added During the Arrest
Adam: It’s a misdemeanor. Typically, one of the complications you see is the traffic violation in addition to the drug charge. They’re going to have at least two charges and more likely than not, they’re also going to have a paraphernalia charge as well. Depending on their background, again, the outcome is going to depend on the nature of the facts of each case.
Charges for Drug Paraphernalia
Interviewer: So they do charge for paraphernalia as well? Can the charge derive from the bag that the weed was stored in? How far do they go with paraphernalia charges?
Adam: It depends on the circumstance. As odd as it may sound for heroin, they will actually charge a bag as paraphernalia for some reason. For marijuana, they won’t charge for the bag, but they would charge for rolling papers sometimes. In all honesty, it’s a controversial charge, but typically, they have either a pipe or a bowl or something with them, such as a grinder.
Interviewer: If you have a pipe or a grinder or a bowl that’s not used, there’s no residue, would you still be charged with having paraphernalia, or does it depend on the presence of marijuana?
Adam: As long as there would be no residue, you probably would be in a little safer situation. But it is a factor if it had been used at any point in time and the police are fairly thorough in testing on that.
How Serious Are Paraphernalia Charges?
Interviewer: If someone has paraphernalia charges, is that as serious as a possession charge, or is it just a small add-on?
Adam: Any kind of paraphernalia or implement is typically going to be an M 4, so it’s going to be a little less serious than the accompanying drug offenses.
Do Paraphernalia Charges Result in a License Suspension?
Interviewer: Can a paraphernalia charge affect your driver’s license, or is that with just possession of marijuana?
Adam: Just the possession will affect the suspension. It depends on how you break it down. There could be the potential of the charge having an effect. Part of it’s going to depend on which court it goes through and whether they have any kind of city ordinance that mandates that the charge be factored in. Each court is going to handle it a little differently because they’ve been given that opportunity under the respective paraphernalia or instrument charges.
By Adam Hunt