Ohio Lawmakers trying to make it easier to beat marijuana OVI charges: Some Ohioans are not happy

Published: Feb. 4, 2023 at 11:27 PM EST
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - Senate Bill 26 would allow people arrested for OVI for marijuana to bring evidence and witnesses to court to argue their case.

The state’s limits for operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana would still be in place, but the bill’s sponsor, Senator Nathan Manning, says it would make things fairer for people who aren’t high while driving.

Here in Ohio, you can get behind the wheel with marijuana in your system, but state law says you’re considered impaired if at least 10 nanograms of marijuana are found in a milliliter of your urine.

If you travel a just few minutes north from Toledo to the Michigan border, you can either light up or get behind the wheel. There’s no in-between.

The state of Michigan legalized recreational marijuana a while back, but it has a no-tolerance policy when it comes to driving under the influence.

13abc reached out to Senator Manning for an interview but he wasn’t available.

This bill is concerning for Ohioans like Bill Gergich Sr., whose son was killed by an allegedly intoxicated driver last May.

“We can’t relax anything that impairs someone’s ability to drive because then we have another family sitting in a situation we’re in saying no Christmas without our son. His birthday’s coming up. We were supposed to be looking at a wedding this year,” said Gergich. “I haven’t heard back from Nathan Manning and I don’t expect to. We’re not going to hear back until pressure gets applied and this is one way to put pressure on him, is to make sure that he understands that this affects people negatively and the people that are already affected aren’t going to take it sitting down.”

This is Manning’s second attempt at trying to get this passed. This bill has a long way to go before it reaches the Governor’s desk, but Gergich says he will make sure that never happens.

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