The topic of marijuana legalization is one that every state has had to face in recent years. It often revolves around adults and their right to choose whether they indulge in drugs — medically or recreationally. But in some cases, policymakers point to a different pressure to change the law: economics.
According to Marijuana Moment, Indiana Democrats have announced a push for marijuana reform in order to keep up with the national marketplace.
Waiting for prohibition to end
Many states have laws regarding medical marijuana or full legalization for recreational use. Indiana remains one of the few where the possession and sale of marijuana is illegal on all fronts, outside CBD products with trace amounts of THC.
Indiana’s governor pledged in 2019 to avoid support for marijuana legalization until the federal government ended its own prohibition on the drug. Democratic policymakers point to the impact of recreational and medicinal cannabis use in neighboring states as an example of how Indiana may lose out on economic and manufacturing opportunities if it waits that long.
Other causes behind the push for recreational legalization include criminal record expungement. It is not clear what this legislation may look like when Democrats propose it in 2022.
Knowing the laws today
While policymakers consider statewide changes to the law, the current penalties for marijuana possession remain. People caught with any amount of marijuana on their person may face misdemeanor charges on their record, up to 180 days incarceration and up to $1,000 in fines. Possession of more than 30 grams or prior drug offenses may face harsher penalties.
These sentences impact a person’s career, reputation and freedom in the short and long term. Organizing a defense against the charges may help reduce this impact.