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Ohio Bill Changes Cannabis DUI Laws

Bill in Ohio Would Alter the State’s DUI Cannabis Laws

According to WCMH, a bill in Ohio would change the state’s Operating a Vehicle Impaired (OVI) laws about cannabis by getting rid of the requirement that drivers would be charged automatically if they failed a drug test for cannabis. Under the plan put forward by state Sen. Nathan Manning (R), drivers could say that even though they got a positive test, they weren’t under the influence. In the end, a judge or jury would decide if someone was guilty of OVI.

How would cannabis OVIs change?

Under current Ohio law, a driver can be arrested if police have reason to believe they are impaired. This is usually done with a roadside sobriety test.

The driver is then given a blood or urine test. According to the Ohio Revised Code, if the sample shows a certain amount of marijuana, the driver is automatically charged with an OVI.

According to Ganjapreneur, under Manning’s bill, labs would only look for delta-9 THC. This is different from the current law, which looks for any sign of cannabis, even its inactive parts.

Dan Sabol, a lawyer for people accused of crimes, told WCMH that under current state law, “you’re not really testing to see if someone is high or not. You’re testing to see if they’ve used THC in the last week or months.”

Sabol said that under the current state law, medical cannabis patients are especially at risk because of how long cannabis stays in a person’s system. He called this “inherently unfair.”

The bill is in the Senate Judiciary Committee right now.

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