Medical marijuana users in Ohio will be at risk for OVIs

Local News

Medical marijuana will soon come to Ohio, but users will face challenges with current laws in the state. 

Criminal Defense Attorney Sean Logue said people who use medical marijuana could soon face penalties while driving. 

“Under Ohio law, driving with an elevated THC level is illegal and is an OVI, so an otherwise lawful used could be found guilty of an OVI,” said Logue.

Legally, a person is considered driving-impaired if there is too much marijuana metabolite in the driver’s system. The limit is 35 nanograms in urine and or 50 nanograms in the blood stream.

Logue said he is concerned that regular users of medical marijuana could go over that limit by using it daily for pain treatment. 

“That’s something that’s going to be new to use with the amount of marijuana that’s in their system,” said Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene.

Greene said when it comes to driving, medical marijuana will be treated the same as alcohol. He said he will base any new guidelines on past decisions from others.

“We will be looking at many other states who have already gone through with it to see how they have dealt with it,” Greene said.

Logue said he would like to see changes to how medical marijuana is measured, focusing on actual signs of impairment.

“I think the OVI laws need to be changed. There hsa to be proof of impairment on top of an elevated THC level,” Logue said. 

The first medical marijuana dispensary is supposed to open around the third week of January. 

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