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Can I Get an OVI for Using Medical Marijuana in the Car?


Medical marijuana helps tens of thousands of Americans fight off pain from chronic illnesses. Those who use medical marijuana agree that it’s a lifesaver, but there is a downside to relying on medical cannabis: it’s illegal to use in public in Ohio. Therefore, many patients use in the car, but that may be a bad idea.

Medical Marijuana in the Car

As using medical marijuana in public is illegal; patients who need to dose while out in public may rely on their cars as “safe spaces.” However, using medical marijuana while in your car could result in an operating a vehicle while impaired (OVI) charge.

You may be thinking, “I won’t be charged with an OVI; I’m not even driving!” However, by sitting in the driver’s seat of a vehicle, you have “physical control” of the car. According to the law, a driver only needs to be in “physical control” of the car to be charged with an OVI.

Therefore, you could be charged for an OVI if you’re using medical marijuana while in your car.

However, you need to use, and you can’t use it in public, so what do you do?

If you need to use in your car, here are some tips to lower your chances of being arrested for an OVI:

  • Never use while in the driver’s seat, the best place to use is in the backseat;
  • Put your keys in the trunk or somewhere away from you while you use;
  • Try to park in a discrete location that’s off public property.

Charged with a Marijuana-Related Crime?

If you or a loved one are charged with a drug crime, The Meranda Law Firm is here to help. Our medical marijuana attorneys have helped users defend their rights in court, and we can help you defend yours.

Call (614) 707-4239 now for a free consultation for your medical marijuana case!