Indiana flanked between legal marijuana states; progress inevitable
Last update: July 22, 2019
Marijuana policy reform is sweeping the Midwest! Indiana’s neighbor to the north, Michigan, will soon begin adult-use marijuana sales, while its neighbor to the west, Illinois, just legalized adult-use marijuana. Not to mention, Ohio, who has a comprehensive medical marijuana program. It’s only a matter of time before Indiana changes its marijuana laws. During the 2019 legislative session, multiple marijuana reforms were introduced but unfortunately none moved forward.
While it was a positive step forward for the state, Indiana’s current low-THC CBD law leaves many patients behind. Please let your lawmakers know that you support a comprehensive and workable medical marijuana in Indiana.
Gov. Holcomb signs bill legalizing low-THC CBD oil
On March 21, 2018, Gov. Eric Holcomb signed Senate Enrolled Act 52, legalizing low-THC CBD derived from industrial hemp. The bill allows any person to buy, sell, and possess CBD oil, as long as it meets certain labeling requirements and contains no more than 0.3 percent THC.
The bill provides a much needed expansion to Indiana’s 2017 low-THC law for patients with seizure disorders, which only allowed CBD oil for epileptic patients while providing no way for them to purchase it. Still, the new law provides no clarification on the legality of manufacturing CBD in Indiana.
While this is a positive step forward for the state, it leaves behind most patients who could benefit from an effective medical marijuana program. Ask your lawmakers to support a program that allows as much THC as patients need. Please let your lawmakers know that you want comprehensive reform!
Learn about Indiana’s marijuana laws
Indiana has some of the most draconian marijuana penalties in the country. Possession of even a single joint is punishable by up to a year of incarceration and a fine of up to $5,000. Sadly, almost 90% of all reported burglaries, including home invasions, and over 85% of all motor vehicle thefts go unsolved, according to the state-based reports from Indiana state law enforcement to the FBI for the year 2012. During the same year, law enforcement devoted valuable time and resources to either arresting or citing over 9,000 individuals for marijuana-related offenses, 86% of which were for possession.
African Americans often bear the brunt of unfair enforcement of marijuana prohibition policies, and in Indiana, African Americans are over three times more likely to be arrested for possession of marijuana than their white counterparts, even though blacks and whites consume marijuana at similar rates. For more information on how the war on marijuana is often waged unequally, check out this report by the ACLU.
Please consider asking your legislators to support legalizing and regulating marijuana like alcohol. This fiscally sound approach would increase freedom, end the possibility of disparities in enforcement of possession, re-direct law enforcement resources to real crime, and allow the state to control and generate revenue from this lucrative product.
Given the benefits marijuana policy reform has — from allowing police to focus on real crime, to raising revenue through legalization and taxation, to improving seriously ill patients’ well-being with medical marijuana — it should be just a matter of time before legislators and the governor’s office catch up to the will of the voters. You can help make change come to Indiana by subscribing to our email alerts.