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Understanding Ohio’s New Medical Marijuana Law


There has been endless confusion and controversy surrounding Ohio’s new medical marijuana law. Since the law officially goes into effect on September 8, 2018, it’s important that Ohioans truly understand the extent of their legal rights.

In recent years, many states have enacted similar medical marijuana laws and have been unprepared to deal with the overall legal transition. In fact, many state residents are still surprised when they’re charged with marijuana offenses because they don’t understand the laws and are unaware that they’re participating in illegal activities.

In other cases, it’s state laws that need to keep evolving to account for legal technicalities. In 2016, the Arizona Court of Appeals ruled that medical cannabis patients can appeal their DUI charges and convictions. Per Judge Diane M. Johnson, just because a patient has cannabis in their system, it doesn’t automatically mean that their driving ability is impaired. This puts law enforcement officials in a difficult position because they need to prove that drivers under the influence of marijuana are too impaired to safely operate their vehicles. While Arizona legalized medical marijuana use in 2010, the laws are still adjusting to resolve and account for new scenarios.

However, Ohio still has very strict laws regarding cannabis use and driving. In fact, according to 4511.19, Ohioans are legally allowed to use medical marijuana, but they may face OVI charges if they attempt to drive and are pulled over.

It’s important to retain the services of an experienced OVI defense attorney if you’re facing marijuana-related charges or have questions about the new laws. To help you understand the new law in broad terms, we’ve compiled the following list of “legal” and “illegal” activities as of September 8, 2018.


  • The use of medical marijuana for medical purposes
  • State-approved businesses can test, produce, and sell marijuana products
  • Employers may require employees to pass cannabis drug tests


  • Cultivation or recreational use of marijuana
  • Driving while under the influence of marijuana
  • Possessing or using firearms while using marijuana

Schedule a Consultation

Facing an OVI charge in Ohio can be stressful and overwhelming without experienced legal guidance. At The Meranda Law Firm, LTD, our Columbus OVI lawyers can safeguard your legal rights and help you navigate this complicated legal process. Whether you’re facing a first-time OVI, a felony OVI, or multiple OVI charges, we can represent  your case.

Contact The Meranda Law Firm, LTD at (614) 707-4239 to discover how our firm can effectively represent your case.