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“Weed Day” How Did 420 Get It’s Name?

April 20th is Weed Day. I am fascinated by the origin of the term "420" and how it became associated with marijuana.  There are as many stories about its origin as there are people you ask.  Just a short search on Google leads to the following "Weed Day" origin stories. It’s the number of active chemicals in marijuana. It’s teatime in Holland. It has something to do with Hitler’s birthday. It’s those numbers in that Bob Dylan song multiplied. It was like a police code for smoking in progress or something. In 2003, when the California Legislature codified the medical...

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Annie’s Law Goes Into Effect In April

On April 4th, Annie's Law will go into effect. Annie's Law Gets Harsh! This law is the latest in Ohio's ever harshening "war" on drunk drivers. For years, MADD and their partners at the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have been laying the groundwork for universal ignition interlock devices. Their "DADDS" system would require every car manufactured to be equipped with sensors. If the driver attempts to start the car and has some alcohol on their breath, it does not allow the car to start.  While this is still their objective, public opinion is very against this idea.  MADD was handed a...

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No, A Physical Control Does Not Count As A “Prior Offense”

We get this Physical Control Question Quite a Bit! Answer: No! Physical Control does not count as a prior offense. What Is Physical Control? Physical Control (Under the Influence) [ORC 4511.194]  is a 1st degree misdemeanor traffic offense.  Because it is considered a non-moving offense, it carries zero (0) BMV points. It is defined as being in the driver's position of the front seat of a vehicle and having possession of the vehicle's ignition key while under the influence alcohol or drugs, but not actually operating the vehicle.  The elements of the offense? You are drunk and in control of a car.  An...

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Medical Marijuana Rules Proposed

As frequent followers of this page, you know that the medical marijuana regulations are now being developed. Here are the highlights from the proposed rules and regulations. Read the full list HERE. Patients wanting to use medical marijuana in Ohio's new program would have to pay a $50 annual fee for their membership card. The fee would be $25 for veterans or people who receive federal disability benefits. Caregivers and patients would register with the Ohio State Board of Pharmacy and receive an ID card to buy marijuana at retail dispensaries. The registration will likely take place at your doctor's office. ...

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Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Is Law (We Win!!!)

Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Is Law In Ohio! Ohio improves the law on civil asset forfeiture. HB 347, passed the legislature and signed by the Governor, received little fanfare. However, it represents a major victory for those of us who have fought to prevent this disastrous practice. The new law will generally require a criminal conviction before seizing property under $15,000. The law also shifts the burden. When property is seized, it shifts the burden of proof from the property owner to the government. This is a huge improvement. It increases the level of proof required before seizing property. Another important aspect of the...

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Central Nervous System Depressants and Drugged Driving

CNS Depressants and Drugged Driving The category of CNS Depressants includes some of the most commonly abused drugs. Alcohol – the most familiar drug of all – is abused by an estimated 40-50 million Americans. Most Of Us Drink Slightly more than half of Americans age 12 or older reported being current drinkers of alcohol in 2014 (52.7% of the population). This translates to an estimated 139 million people. Source: Behavioral Health Trends in the United States: Results from the 2014 National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH, September 2015) Depressants Are Widely Abused Depressant drugs consistently rank among the most widely...

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Central Nervous System Depressants

CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM DEPRESSANTS - A PRIMER The category of Central Nervous System Depressants includes some of the most commonly abused drugs. Alcohol – the most familiar drug of all – is abused by an estimated 40-50 million Americans. Central nervous system agents are drugs that affect the central nervous system i.e. the brain and the spinal cord, and produce a response that could be used to alleviate or treat a particular medical condition. Central nervous system agents can be used as analgesics, anesthetics, anti-emetics, anti-convulsants, and have many more therapeutic uses. Slightly more than half of Americans age 12 or...

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Retrograde Extrapolation: The Rising Alcohol Defense

Retrograde Extrapolation: The Rising Alcohol Defense Retrograde extrapolation is the scientific and mathematical process used by chemists and toxicologists to estimate what a person’s blood alcohol content was at a specific time based on test results obtained at a later period of time. For the DUI case, it is used to determine whether or not a driver had a BAC of 0.08 or higher at the actual time of driving based on what the BAC was at the time of testing. Typically, we encounter retrograde extrapolation in cases where the collection of blood evidence is collected hours after the act of driving...

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DUI Motion To Suppress – Appellate Challenges

DUI Motion To Suppress - Appellate Challenges There are three methods of challenging a trial court’s ruling on a DUI motion to suppress on appeal. First, an appellant may challenge the trial court’s finding of fact. In reviewing a challenge of this nature, an appellate court must determine whether the trial court’s findings of fact are against the manifest weight of the evidence. See State v. Fanning (1982), 1 Ohio St.3d 19, 437 N.E.2d 583; and State v. Klein (1991), 73 Ohio App.3d 486, 597 N.E.2d 1141. Second, an appellant may argue that the trial court failed to apply the appropriate test...

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DUI Checkpoints – Why They Exist

DUI Checkpoints & The Supreme Court DUI checkpoints, have been upheld by the United States Supreme Court. In the 1990 case of Michigan v. Sitz, 496 U.S. 444 (1990), the court reviewed a checkpoint scheme to detect drunk drivers. Michigan demonstrated that its checkpoint program was minimally intrusive. In addition, they relied heavily upon the fact that Michigan established and operated the DUI checkpoints pursuant to specific procedural safeguards. The Court relied heavily upon a decision of the California Supreme Court, Ingersoll v. Palmer, 742 P.2d 1299 (1987).  Like Sitz, the Ingersoll case placed strict procedural guidelines on the government. City of...

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