College Student Crimes: Marijuana

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Many young adults today view marijuana possession criminal offenses as no big deal. Most criminal complaints for marijuana possession against the typical defendant are charged as minor misdemeanors. (See ORC §2925.11.) They are the same offense level as a speeding ticket. However, two big distinctions are that marijuana possession convictions carry a discretionary drivers' license suspension from 6 months to 5 years and, more importantly, can result in the ineligibility of a college student receiving any federally funded student financial aid, grants, loans, or work study assistance. A first offense conviction for possession of a controlled substance, such as marijuana, results in the student not being eligible to receive any grants, loans, or work assistance for one year from the date of conviction. A second drug offense conviction is a two year ineligibility and a third conviction is an indefinite ineligibility time period. (See 20 USCS §1091.)

In addition, on September 8, 2016, the State of Ohio passed into law Ohio's Medical Marijuana law. (See ORC §3796.01 et seq.) Therefore, it is currently unclear how the U.S. Department of Education and federal student assistance programs will treat lawful "possession" of marijuana provided for under the Ohio Revised Code.

If you are a college or graduate student who has been charged with drug possession or drug trafficking, contact me today for a free initial consultation.