Using Medical Marijuana as an Affirmative Defense in Drug Charges

House Bill 523 was signed by Ohio Governor, John Kasich on June 8, 2016, making medical marijuana legal in the state under specific circumstances. The ultimate purpose of House Bill 523 is to provide individuals who qualify with a legal and safe method to treat their conditions with medical marijuana. While the Ohio medical and pharmacy board are given one year to adopt the rules, healthcare providers must thoroughly understand the law before using medical marijuana to address patient needs.

The new law also raises important issues regarding criminal charges. Specifically, now that House Bill 523 has passed, it can be used as an affirmative defense to certain drug charges. If you’ve been charged with the possession of marijuana, find out if the affirmative defense can help your situation by contacting Troy Wisehart of Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA at (419) 625-7770.

When and How Can the Affirmative Defense Be Used

In order to issue an Ohio approved written recommendation for a patient to use medical marijuana, a physician must obtain a certificate from the State Medical Board of Ohio. According to House Bill 523, the rules that describe the requirements and process necessary to obtain this certificate will be created on September 8, 2017, at the latest.

To protect patients and the parents or guardians of minors who seek to use marijuana before the process and requirements for the Ohio Medical Marijuana Control Program are developed, Section 6 of House Bill 523 gives them an affirmative defense against criminal liability for medical marijuana if they have a doctor’s recommendation.

According to the law, a patient, parent, or guardian can raise an affirmative defense if they have a written recommendation from their physician that certifies a specific number of criteria are met. It was created to expedite medical marijuana access for patients who have a qualifying condition and doctor’s recommendation.

The affirmative defense will protect patients from a conviction related to the possession of marijuana. With the affirmative defense, individuals who need medical marijuana won’t have to wait for Ohio to fully establish the regulatory system.

You May Still Be Arrested and Charged

It is important to note that if you are caught with marijuana, you may still be arrested and charged for possession or use of the drug. However, when you go to court, you may be able to present evidence that a doctor has given you a recommendation to take the drug for an approved condition. If your doctor has recommended that you use marijuana, you may be able to defend yourself against marijuana charges. You may be able to avoid a conviction and permanent criminal record.

Contact Troy Wisehart Of Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA

If you’re wondering if the affirmative defense clause can serve as a criminal defense to your marijuana possession charges, you need to consult experienced Ohio medical marijuana lawyer Troy Wisehart of Kademenos, Wisehart, Hines, Dolyk & Wright Co. LPA. He will investigate your case and determine if the affirmative defense can assist you. Call him today at (419) 625-7770 for a free consultation.