Marijuana Remains Concern for Ohio Law Enforcement
Many people associate drug crimes with the common street drugs, such as cocaine, heroin or meth. Those who manufacture or sell these drugs are thought to be connected to various other criminal activities, including money laundering or gang-related turf wars. Officials publicize their efforts to control the flow of the illegal drugs, in the hopes that the public will feel that their streets are being made safer.
While these drugs may receive most of the attention, marijuana offenses remain a priority for law enforcement within Ohio. Penalties can include fines and jail time, and they will only increase with subsequent convictions. Additionally, the state has imposed a mandatory suspension of a driver’s license for at least six months, but potentially up to five years, for those with drug-related convictions. This can make it very difficult for those charged with even a minor drug offense to emerge from the case without suffering severe consequences.
Many individuals charged with marijuana crimes have never been in any sort of trouble with the law before. They may want to put the matter behind them as soon as possible, and plead guilty to the charges they are facing. The punishments may seem minor, but other consequences may also result. In addition to any sentence handed down by the courts, individuals may also experience difficulty finding work or receiving school loans after being convicted of a drug offense.
Recently, voters in Colorado and Washington made national news when they approved referendums allowing for the legal recreational use of marijuana, leading to concerns about what could be considered to be safe limits for motorists within these states. This is an issue that many states have struggled with concerning drivers under the influence of marijuana.
Marijuana impacts users differently, so it is difficult to impose a legal limit to determine if a motorist is driving under the influence. Long-time users may build up a tolerance to the drug, and not show any signs of impairment, even if they are well above the state’s limits.
Law enforcement may order the individual to submit to a chemical test, which will show the amount of marijuana present in the person’s system. Anyone found to be above the limit will be charged with driving under the influence, as well as other drug crimes, if applicable.
Despite a changing attitude toward the drug, police and prosecutors still aggressively pursue drug charges against those selling or distributing marijuana. If you have been charged with a drug crime, it is important to speak to an experienced criminal defense attorney about the potential penalties you are facing.
Police and prosecutors are not your friends. While they may talk to you about your involvement in certain crimes, they are hoping you make their jobs easier. Anything that you say to them can be used against you. You have rights during this process, and you need to protect yourself from the consequences of a conviction from Ohio marijuana drug laws.