COLUMBUS, Ohio — Did state lawmakers accidentally legalize marijuana in Ohio? Some top law enforcers in the state say yes.
10TV was the first to break the news Wednesday that the City of Columbus will no longer prosecute misdemeanor marijuana cases.
City Attorney Zach Klein says the decision is based on complications after the state legalized hemp.
On July 30, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed Senate Bill 57 into law.
It legalizes hemp in Ohio, giving Ohio farmers a new crop and new source of revenue.
The law changes the definition of marijuana to exclude hemp, based on the amount of THC — the chemical that gets you high.
A THC level of .3 percent or less is hemp and legal. A THC level of over .3 percent is marijuana, still illegal in Ohio.
“Now we have to be able to distinguish the difference between hemp and marijuana,” said Jason Pappas, Vice President of the Ohio Fraternal Order of Police. “That is not possible for a human being to do, that has to be done through crime analysis.”
The problem is, most, if not all, crime labs in Ohio can only detect the presence of THC, not the quantity of it.
That includes the Columbus police lab and BCI state crime lab.