Unfortunately, the state of Indiana has been slow to enact cannabis law reform despite support from its constituents. Recreational marijuana possession in any amount is still a serious crime in the state, and efforts to legalize medical marijuana in the state have gained little traction within the legislature. State lawmakers did pass a low-THC medical cannabis law in 2017, but the program will only benefit a tiny fraction of patients.
Recreational Marijuana in Indiana
Unfortunately, there has been little effort by Indiana lawmakers to ease punishments for recreational marijuana. Possession of any amount of recreational marijuana in Indiana is charged as a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by 180 days in jail with a fine of $1,000. Possession of less than 30 grams with a prior drug offense is punishable by 1 year in jail and $5,000 in fines. Possession of any quantity greater than this (with a prior drug offense) is a felony, with up to 2.5 years in prison and $10,000. Note that conditional discharge can be given to first-time offenders, where they can be given probation over jail time and have the charges removed from their record.
Sale of less than 30 grams of recreational marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by 1 year in prison and $5,000 in fine. Sale of higher quantities is a felony with up to 6 years in jail and $10,000 in fines.
In Indiana, even being in the presence where knowledge of drug activity occurs is a misdemeanor, punishable by 6 months incarceration and a $1,000 fine.
Medical Marijuana in Indiana
In May 2017, Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb signed into law HB 1148, a bill that establishes a low-THC program for patients with severe seizure disorders. The law allows patients with a neurologist’s certification to access cannabis oils containing less than 0.3% tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The law takes effect on July 1, 2017.
Despite that an October 2016 poll found 73 percent of Indiana voters support the legalization of medical marijuana, the state of Indiana has yet to pass comprehensive medical marijuana legislation of any sort. Sen. Karen Tallian introduced a comprehensive medical marijuana bill in 2016, but the Indiana General Assembly concluded in 2016 session without making progress.
Consumption of CBD from Hemp Oil in Indiana
While medical marijuana remains illegal in Indiana, patients can still legally purchase and consume CBD oil that is derived from hemp. CBD hemp oil is federally legal, as CBD hemp oil falls under the same importation and commerce laws as other hemp products. The state of Indiana has no further policy specifically related to CBD hemp oil.
Cultivation of Cannabis in Indiana
Personal cannabis cultivation, whether for recreational or medical use, is illegal in Indiana. The state was, however, one of the first states to authorize the production of industrial hemp for commercial and research purposes, with the passing of Senate Bill 357 in 2014. Indiana’s University of Purdue has led one of the most visible industrial hemp cultivation programs since the law passed.
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