Vermilion stops enforcing Ohio’s misdemeanor marijuana law

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VERMILION, Ohio– Vermilion is the latest city in Ohio to announce it will not enforce the state’s misdemeanor marijuana law.

Police said they have no choice now that Senate Bill 57, which decriminalizes hemp, is in effect.

“Now the problem we have for law enforcement is we cannot distinguish between hemp and marijuana because it’s based on level of THC. Because the only way to do that is you have to have lab testing to show the level of the THC in the product to determine if it’s marijuana and it’s a violation or it’s hemp and it’s legal,” said Vermilion Police Chief Chris Hartung.

Hartung said there is no such testing available to police and prosecutors have indicated they will not prosecute marijuana cases until THC testing catches up with the law.

“So even if we have a massive quantity, we still have to show what the level of THC is because we could have 3 pounds of marijuana, we could have 3 pounds of hemp. Three pounds of hemp, it’s not illegal,” Hartung said.

Shawn Jeffrey, the owner of Ancient Celtic Gift Shop in Vermilion, plans to sell a line of hemp health products. She said she believes the distinction between marijuana and hemp will eventually be blurred.

“There`s so many other things that we can be using our resources for, you know, to me trafficking of young women is a much better cause to look at, than a silly old person wanting to sit in their car, smoke a joint and go out and get munchies,” Jeffrey said.

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