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Ohio State News Alert: Ohio marijuana legalization’s impact at Ohio State

What the university community should know

The Ohio State University is clarifying its policies and offering helpful information ahead of Ohio’s marijuana legalization law taking effect on Dec. 7, 2023.

Ohioans voted to pass Issue 2 in November’s election, legalizing the possession and use of marijuana for people aged 21 and older in Ohio. Ohio legalized medical marijuana in 2016.

Issue 2 impacts on Ohio State policies
Ohio State students, faculty and staff remain subject to federal law and university policy that prohibit possession or use of marijuana on Ohio State property. 

Possession and use of marijuana – even if obtained legally under Ohio law – is prohibited in or on all university-owned, operated or leased property. This includes residence halls and other university housing facilities, offices, university-managed properties and all Wexner Medical Center facilities. 

Federal law supersedes Ohio law. Because the university receives federal funding, the university is subject to federal law in this area, including the Drug Free Schools and Communities Act.  This act specifically prohibits possession, use or distribution of marijuana in relation to any university activity, including research.

University leaders will continue to evaluate policies, monitor proposed legislative changes and determine if changes are needed to continue to comply with the law. Any changes will go through the existing policy process and be communicated with the campus community.

More information about Ohio State’s drug-free policies is available on the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes website

Ohio’s law 
In November, a majority of Ohioans voted for the law allowing Ohioans to possess and grow marijuana for their personal use. However, the sale and purchase of marijuana – in-person or online – remains illegal until state regulators license approved dispensaries. According to state regulators, licensing is not expected to be complete until summer 2024. Purchasing marijuana outside of a licensed dispensary will remain unlawful even after Dec. 7.

Those adults 21 and over are allowed to have up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and 15 grams of extract, such as oil or hash. Please note that this constitutes possession and is prohibited on Ohio State property. 

Buying legally purchased marijuana in other states and bringing the product to Ohio also remains illegal.

While adults aged 21 and older may grow up to six plants for personal use, growing marijuana constitutes possession and is prohibited on Ohio State property.

Landlords are allowed to prohibit consumption of marijuana on their properties if they choose. 

Smoking marijuana in public is prohibited everywhere in Ohio as is using a motor vehicle, bike or scooter while using or under the influence of the drug. 

Ohio State’s Drug Enforcement and Policy Center at the Moritz College of Law is one of the chief experts on drug policy in America, and hosts a thorough website analyzing what legalization means for Ohio

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