Drug offenses under Ohio law, such as possession or trafficking, can vary depending on the weight or the amount of drug involved. All illegal drugs, whether they are prescription or street drugs, have a baseline level of offense that can increase depending on the amount of the drug. For example, possession of marijuana starts as a minor misdemeanor whereas possession of cocaine is a fifth degree felony. These charges will increase based on the weight of the drug. Possession of marijuana becomes a fifth degree felony if the defendant possessed at least 200 grams but less than 1,000 grams. One other consideration to keep in mind is that if the drug is combined with other substances, such as baking soda and cocaine, marijuana brownies, or hash oil mixed with a substance, then the entire weight of the substance or compound is taken into account, not just the weight of the amount of the drug involved. So .99 pounds of baking soda mixed with .01 pounds of cocaine is 1 pound of cocaine.
While some drugs are measured by weight, such as marijuana and cocaine, other drugs are measured by their bulk amount. The bulk amount is set by statute and can change depending on the type of drug and the dosage. Most prescription medications are criminalized based on their bulk amount. For example, the illegal possession of one Adderall pill is a fifth degree felony. However, possession of at least the bulk amount of Adderall but less than five times the bulk amount raises the level of offense to a third degree felony. The bulk amount of 5mg Adderall pill is 360 tablets. The bulk amount for this drug, though, changes depending on the strength and dosage of the pill. The link below is a chart prepared by Detective Dennis Luken of the Warren County Drug Task Force outlining bulk amounts for certain drugs.
If you or a loved one have been charged with a drug offense feel free to contact the experienced criminal defense attorneys at Rittgers Rittgers & Nakajima for a free consultation.