Many Ohio residents know that tetrahydrocannabinol, which is more commonly referred to as THC, is the constituent that provides marijuana with its psychoactive properties. However, they may not understand how this chemical interacts with the brain to produce these effects. Cannabinoid chemicals occur naturally in the body, and they use the nervous system to send messages between neurons. Because it is so similar to the body's natural endogenous cannabinoids, THC is able to attach to and activate the brain's cannabinoid receptors.
Marijuana remains illegal in Ohio after the most recent election in November 2015, but state residents may wonder exactly what the laws are. Possessing less than 3.5 ounces or giving someone else less than 20 grams of marijuana are minor misdemeanors for which individuals cannot be jailed. The maximum penalty is suspension of the driver's license for up to five years and $150 in fines.
On Oct. 2, an Ohio man reportedly phoned 911 to confess he was "too high on weed." The incident occurred in Austintown. According to the police report, officers responded to a residence on the 100 block of Westminster Avenue at around 4:25 p.m. Upon arrival, they were pointed to an upstairs bedroom by the caller's grandfather.
Teenagers do a lot of things without thinking through the possible consequences of their actions, including posting to social media. Two high school students from Lawrence County, Ohio, learned this the hard way after they were arrested last week and charged with serious crimes.
Interstate highways provide a convenient means of getting from one state to another within a reasonable time period. A man and a woman traveling through Ohio were recently stopped and are now facing drug trafficking charges. They each face a state prison sentence of up to eight years.
Drug trafficking allegations are rarely as simple as prosecutors would have us believe. To get a conviction, a prosecutor may cast the defendant as a hardened criminal who knowingly gamed the system to transport drugs and sell them to an unsuspecting community, when the facts of the case may instead point to an addiction problem, a moment of desperation or a mere lapse in judgement. In other cases, people accused of drug offenses have done absolutely nothing wrong and have had their rights violated by police.
Concern over the prevalence of drugs in Ohio is the focus of a lot of attention in the state. From a public health perspective, the issue is that drug abuse -- especially of opioids -- has resulted in a rash of overdose deaths. Law enforcement has stepped up its efforts, cracking down to curb drug-related crimes of all kinds. Readers may recall a previous post about this not long ago.
The flow of public opinion in the U.S. seems to be in the direction of at least decriminalizing, if not legalizing, marijuana. As of right now, some 20 states and the District of Columbia have laws on the books allowing the use marijuana for medical reasons. Two states have even legalized the recreational use of the drug.