• Patricia Brandt, Attorney

Police sitting on pounds of marijuana waiting on test results.

Ohio now has the proper testing equipment to tell the difference between illegal marijuana and legal hemp.

After Senate Bill 57 legalized hemp in the summer of 2019, Prosecutors across the state were told not to pursue low-level marijuana possession cases or to delay their prosecution for months, because quantitative analysis of marijuana wasn’t available. Smaller cases were dismissed while evidence in larger cases was held until the proper testing was possible.

Police departments seized marijuana evidence but did not issue warrants or make arrests. They are holding the marijuana evidence and are now resuming the criminal investigation to pursue charges. There have been at least 890 instances around northeast Ohio where officers in cities like Cleveland, Parma and Fairview Park have seized marijuana but didn’t bring charges or write citations, or had to put those actions on hold.

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