According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, marijuana is legal in the states of Colorado and Washington for adults 21 and older. “In Oxford and anywhere else in Ohio it’s illegal,” Sgt. John Varley of the Oxford Police Department (OPD) said.
According to the Oxford Codified Code (OCC), “No person shall knowingly obtain, possess or use a controlled substance or a controlled substance analog.” Possession of marijuana is a minor misdemeanor depending on the amount of drug involved. If the amount of drug involved equals or exceeds 100 grams but is less than 200 grams, the possession of marijuana is considered to be a misdemeanor of the fourth degree, as stated in the OCC.
However, Varley confirmed that marijuana is still used in Oxford and many users of the illicit drug are trying to legalize it. “I know there are people pushing to legalize it but at this point it is still illegal,” Varley said.
Chief Robert Holzworth from the OPD said he agrees. “I wouldn’t be surprised that there is a small number of people that are interested in legalizing marijuana, I just didn’t know this was an ongoing issue in Oxford” Holzworth said.
Even though he said he is not sure what might happen in the future and cannot predict it, he does not see marijuana being legalized in Ohio in the near future. “It’s changing around the country, but we live in the heartland here where change comes kind of slow,” Varley said.
Marijuana use is not a prevalent offense in Oxford, according to Holzworth.
“Our biggest drug abuse is alcohol in its various forms, and that’s not to say that we have significant marijuana use in town and we are aware of some of the locations but it’s not our number one problem at this point,” Holzworth said.
People might not be charged that often for this offense but it is still a problem, Holzworth said.
“It’s not that big of an issue from an enforcement number perspective, I wouldn’t say it’s not a big issue from the societal perspective,” Holzworth said.
Marijuana use might not be the focus of the OPD right now because of other offenses that call for more attention, according to Holzworth, but it is still an issue.
“I think overuse of all kinds of substances are problematic,” Holzworth said.
Senior Jasmine Sandhu said she supports the use of medical marijuana as it could help control symptoms of AIDS, cancer and other conditions.
“Even though it is not FDA approved thousands of people use it anyways but at least legalizing medical marijuana could help ease the symptoms of the patients,” Sandhu said.