Last week I saw an internet news headline that said Pat Robertson, the Christian televangelist and host of the 700 Club, believes that marijuana should be legalized.
Admittedly, I did not read the full story at that time as I have little interest in the orator as well as the subject matter. hen a few days later, I was reading the current issue of The Costco Connection, a free “lifestyle magazine for Costco members” and came across an article on the legalization of marijuana.
While, I admit that the Costco magazine is probably not the most scholarly publication, it none the less struck me that two national discussions about “pot” in one week was more than a mere coincidence.
So what’s the “411” on the “4-20?”
Simply, it is illegal to possess, cultivate, sell, and distribute marijuana per federal and state laws including the laws of the State of Ohio. However, currently 16 states (Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, Washington) and the District of Columbia has enacted legalization that allows for the medical use of marijuana.
As you see, it is not just the west coasters who have a strong “pot” lobby.
While Ohio does not have a medical use exception to our drug laws, the possession of a small amount of marijuana (100 grams or less) is classified as a minor misdemeanor offense. This means getting caught with a little ganja (100 grams is approximately 3.5 ounces) generally means no jail time and a maximum fine of $150.00.
Is Mary Jane welcome in Ohio?
I hope not, but I certainly do not speak for the entire populous. In fact, my view could be in the minority.
Apparently a recent Gallup Poll indicated that at least 50 percent of Americans favor legalizing marijuana. I know some view the legalization of this drug as a way to weed-out the violence and plight that is associated with the criminal activity currently involved with this drug.
Others point to beneficial uses such as for glaucoma therapy and the tax income that can be derived. I also hear the voices that claim that we are wasting millions and millions of dollars in drug enforcement resources on a relatively harmless little plant. They may be right, but in my opinion they may be dead wrong.
What say you?
Legal blogs are a form of informational advertising and should not be taken as legal advice. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions about this topic and/or another legal matter.
William R. Joherl, Esq.
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