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Indiana Senator Attempts To Decriminalize Marijuana

thefreshtoast.com January 24, 2021
Indiana Senator Attempts To Decriminalize Marijuana

"Our neighboring states have made efforts to address unjust marijuana laws, and it's time for us to do the same," said Senator Karen Tallian.

It has been said that Indiana will be one of the last states to legalize marijuana. The state is run by a bunch of holy-rolling Republicans who believe weed is the root of all evil. And they just can't seem to wrap their heads around marijuana being good for the people and the state's economy.

Therefore, as long as the ultra-conservative beast continues to bed down in the Capitol, weed isn't going to make any headway. However, some state lawmakers plan to hold the anti-pot goons accountable in the next session. They aren't asking for full-blown legalization -- like neighboring Illinois and Michigan -- just the elimination of criminal penalties for those caught in possession.

Indiana Senator Karen Tallian recently introduced legislation aimed at decriminalizing marijuana statewide. The bill, which is similar to others she's supported over the years, would allow those caught in possession of up to two ounces to be dealt with through a ticket rather than the criminal justice system.

As it stands, Hoosiers caught in possession of any amount of cannabis can be convicted of a misdemeanor, punishable with up to 180 days in jail and fines reaching $1,000. If they have as much weed as Tallian believes should be decriminalized, they can be slapped with a level 6 felony and do as many as two and a half years in jail and pay up to a $10,000 fine.

Police all across Indiana have enjoyed busting pot offenders for decades. After all, it's a lot easier than chasing down murderers, rapists and sex traffickers. But the state has continued to incentivize law enforcement to pursue pot offenders with a vengeance. Even recently, as nearby states have moved to legalize marijuana, cops in various parts of the state have implemented new roadside tools that will make it easier for them to arrest people for marijuana-related offenses. Indiana courts see more than 10,000 pot offenders every year, according to data compiled by Jon Gettman, associate professor of criminal justice at Shenandoah University.


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