(Full list below.)

State law requires a mandatory six-month driver’s license suspension for marijuana possession and paraphernalia offenses.

However, cities are not required to follow state law — and many don’t.

Cleveland, Toledo and Dayton never suspend for marijuana possession. Columbus and Cincinnati always suspend.  Ohio Mayor’s Courts have no legal authority to suspend — but sometimes do, out of ignorance.

A large shares of communities have laws that say they “may suspend” and, in practice, some do while others don’t.

A survey of 350+ home-rule communities by PotLocal.org found the population covered by the various suspension policies were:

  • never suspend — 38%.
  • shall suspend — 35%.
  • may suspend — 27%.

In December 2014, the Ohio legislature passed a resolution to “opt out” of the federal requirement that driver’s licenses be suspended for all drug offenses. Thirty states have already opted out of the federal requirement.

It will take Ohio one to three years to complete the process of “opting out” of license suspensions. In the meantime, about 150,000 people per year will have their licenses suspended for non-driving drug offenses, mostly marijuana, in Ohio.

Reformers should aggressively work to:

  • stop home-rule communities — most of Ohio — from suspending for non-driving drug offenses.
  • stop all drug offense suspensions in Mayor’s Courts.
  • ask local elected officials to change “shall suspend” to “may suspend” in local laws.

Argument against license suspensions. License suspensions are a foolish policy, opposed by law enforcement and American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators. The Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles also supports ending drug offense suspensions.

Research shows that 42% of people who have their licenses suspended lost their jobs — and up to 75% drive without a license anyway.

Municipalities that enforce mandatory license suspensions are creating a self-inflicted wound on the well-being of their citizens. Do you want a pot smoker working on staying at home, unable to drive, playing the Xbox?

Cities should be encouraged to fix their laws now and not wait for the multi-year process underway by the legislature to come to fruition.


Driver’s license suspension
City Population Possession Paraphernalia
Columbus 787,033 Shall Shall
Cleveland 396,815 Never Never
Cincinnati 296,943 Shall Shall
Toledo 287,208 Never Never
Akron 199,110 Shall Shall
Dayton 141,527 Never Never
Summit County 100,000 May Shall
Parma 81,601 Shall Shall
Canton 73,007 May Never
Youngstown 66,982 May May
Lorain 64,097 May Shall
Hamilton 62,477 Never Shall
Springfield 60,608 May Never
Kettering 56,163 Shall Shall
Elyria 54,533 Shall Shall
Lakewood 52,131 Never May
Euclid 48,920 Shall Never
Middletown 48,694 Shall Never
Mansfield 47,821 May Never
Newark 47,573 Shall Shall
Mentor 47,159 May Shall
Cleveland Heights 46,121 May Shall
Beavercreek 45,193 Shall Shall
Fairfield 42,510 May Shall
Warren 41,557 Never Shall
Findlay 41,202 May Shall
Lancaster 38,780 May Shall
Lima 38,771 Shall Shall
Huber Heights 38,101 May Shall
Marion 36,837 Shall May
Stow 34,837 May Shall
Delaware 34,753 May Never
Westlake 32,729 May May
Fairborn 32,352 May Shall
Massillon 32,149 May Shall
Mason 30,712 Shall Shall
Bowling Green 30,028 Shall Shall
Kent 28,904 May Shall
Garfield Heights 28,849 May Shall
Shaker Heights 28,448 Shall Shall
Medina (2) 26,678 Shall Shall
Medina 26,678 Never Shall
Barberton 26,550 Shall Shall
Wooster 26,119 Shall Shall
Sandusky 25,793 Never Shall
Xenia 25,719 Shall Shall
Green 25,699 Shall Shall
Zanesville 25,487 May Never
Riverside 25,201 May Shall
Troy 25,058 May Shall
Trotwood 24,431 May Shall
Centerville 23,999 Shall Shall
Athens 23,832 Shall Never
Solon 23,348 Never Shall
Avon Lake 22,581 Shall Shall
Alliance 22,322 Never Shall
South Euclid 22,295 May Shall
Willoughby 22,268 Never Never
Hudson 22,262 Shall Shall
Marysville 22,094 May Shall
Chillicothe 21,901 May Shall
Wadsworth 21,567 Shall Shall
Oxford 21,371 May Shall
Sidney 21,229 Never Shall
Perrysburg 20,623 May Shall
Piqua 20,522 Shall Shall
Ashland 20,362 May Shall
Oregon 20,291 May Shall
Portsmouth 20,226 May Shall
Rocky River 20,213 May May
Miamisburg 20,181 Shall Shall
Lebanon 20,033 Shall Shall
Painesville 19,563 Shall Shall
Niles 19,266 May Shall
Mayfield Heights 19,155 Shall Shall
Ashtabula 19,124 May Shall
Berea 19,093 May Shall
Sylvania 18,965 May Shall
Twinsburg 18,795 May Shall
Steubenville 18,659 May May
Eastlake 18,577 May Shall
Tiffin 17,963 May Shall
Tallmadge 17,537 May May
New Philadelphia 17,288 May Shall
Norwalk 17,012 May Shall
Mount Vernon 16,990 May Shall
Fairview Park 16,826 May May
Fremont 16,734 May Shall
Defiance 16,494 May Shall
Streetsboro 16,028 May Shall
Bay Village 15,651 Never Shall
Aurora 15,548 May Shall
Vandalia 15,246 Shall Shall
Maumee 14,286 Shall Shall
New Franklin 14,227 Shall Shall
Willowick 14,171 Shall Never
Marietta 14,085 May Shall
Lyndhurst 14,001 Shall Shall
Warrensville Heights 13,542 Never Shall
University Heights 13,539 Shall Shall
Englewood 13,465 Shall Shall
Fostoria 13,441 May Shall
Bellefontaine 13,370 May Shall
Circleville 13,314 May Shall
Greenville 13,227 Shall Shall
Clayton 13,209 May Shall
Bedford 13,074 May Shall
Conneaut 12,841 May Shall
Dover 12,826 May Shall
Wickliffe 12,750 May Shall
Wilmington 12,520 May Shall
Bucyrus 12,362 Shall Shall
Salem 12,303 May Shall
Amherst 12,021 May Shall
Urbana 11,793 Shall Never
Ravenna 11,724 May Shall
Powell 11,500 May Shall
Coshocton 11,216 Shall Shall
East Liverpool 11,195 May Shall
Ironton 11,129 Shall Shall
Van Wert 10,846 Shall Shall
Struthers 10,713 May Shall
Cambridge 10,635 Shall Shall
Vermilion 10,594 May Shall
Richmond Heights 10,546 May Shall
Galion 10,512 May Shall
Celina 10,400 May Shall
Heath 10,310 Shall Shall
Girard 9,958 May Shall
London 9,904 Shall Shall
Wapakoneta 9,867 Shall Shall
Tipp City 9,689 Shall Shall
Shelby 9,317 Shall Shall
Napoleon 8,749 Shall Shall
Bryan 8,545 May May
Eaton 8,407 May Shall
Orrville 8,380 May Shall
Highland Heights 8,345 May Shall
St. Marys 8,332 May Shall
Oberlin 8,286 May Shall
Kenton 8,262 Shall Shall
Campbell 8,235 May May
Bellevue 8,202 May Shall
Mentor-on-the-Lake 7,443 Shall Shall
Wauseon 7,332 May May
Logan 7,152 Shall Shall
Huron 7,149 May Shall
Cortland 7,104 May Shall
Bellbrook 6,943 Shall Shall
Kirtland 6,866 Shall Shall
Hillsboro 6,605 Shall Shall
Upper Sandusky 6,596 May Shall
Rittman 6,491 May Shall
Union 6,419 May Shall
Jackson 6,397 May Shall
Clyde 6,325 May Shall
Rossford 6,293 May Shall
Willard 6,236 Shall Shall
Geneva 6,215 Never Shall
Germantown 6,215 May Shall
Port Clinton 6,056 May Shall
Pepper Pike 5,979 May Shall
Brookville 5,884 May Shall
Ada 5,823 May Shall
New Carlisle 5,785 Shall Shall
Waterville 5,523 May Shall
Canal Fulton 5,479 Shall Shall
Uhrichsville 5,413 May Shall
Chardon 5,148 Shall Shall
Johnstown 4,823 May Shall
East Palestine 4,625 Shall Shall
Ottawa Hills 4,493 Shall Shall
Ottawa 4,404 May Shall
Archbold 4,336 Shall Shall
Montpelier 4,050 May Shall
New Lebanon 3,990 Shall Shall
Reminderville 3,730 May Shall
Carey 3,623 May Shall
Mayfield Village 3,423 May Never
Carrollton 3,191 May Shall
Millersburg 3,113 May Shall
Delta 3,090 May Shall
Jefferson 3,070 Shall Shall
Waynesville 2,945 Shall Shall
Minster 2,829 Shall Shall
Lisbon 2,768 Shall Shall
Oak Harbor 2,744 Shall Shall
Middlefield 2,710 May Shall
Byesville 2,410 May Shall
Terrace Park 2,254 Shall Shall
Gates Mills 2,252 May May
Elmwood Place 2,173 Shall Shall
Woodville 2,101 May Shall
Edgerton 1,997 May Shall
Centerburg 1,920 May Shall
Dalton 1,840 Shall Shall
Bradford 1,839 May Shall
Batavia 1,639 Shall Shall
Orwell 1,623 Shall Shall
Burton 1,460 May Shall
Greenwich 1,448 Shall Shall
Leesburg 1,397 Shall Shall
Monroeville 1,383 Never Shall
West Alexandria 1,355 Shall Shall
Marblehead 891 Shall Shall
North Perry 891 May Shall
Edon 825 May Shall
Hunting Valley 713 Shall Shall
Timberlake 667 Shall Shall
Riverlea 559 Shall Shall
Buckland 233 Shall Shall
Cleveland Metroparks 0 Never Shall


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