Over the past 20 years, 38 states have legalized cannabis to some extent. Some states have legalized cannabis for medical uses, while others have legalized recreational uses. Within those categories, there are many variations within the states.
So far, Indiana hasn’t gone very far in liberalizing its cannabis laws, but that could be set to change. Lawmakers have been studying proposals that could decriminalize some types of cannabis possession and regulate certain types of use.
In particular, lawmakers are studying so-called delta-8 cannabis products for potential health benefits. Delta-8 products contain THC, the naturally-occurring intoxicant in cannabis, but they contain less of it than recreational cannabis products usually do.
Don’t celebrate just yet
Many Indiana residents are eager to relax our state’s cannabis laws, and will no doubt follow the legislature’s actions with great interest. For the time being, however, it’s too early to celebrate.
So far, Indiana has legalized only the sale and possession of CBD products containing less than 0.3% THC. For cannabis products with THC levels higher than that, the penalties are still quite harsh.
Possession of any amount of cannabis is treated as a misdemeanor, punishable by up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Sale of less than 30 grams of cannabis is a misdemeanor and punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of $5,000.
Under Indiana law, a person can even be charged with being present in a place where they know drug activity is going on. This charge can land them in jail for up to six months.
Penalties get much tougher with larger quantities and repeat offenses. Possession of 30 grams or more is treated as a felony and carries a prison sentence of up to 30 months, with a fine of up to $10,000.
With all this at stake, people accused of cannabis-related crimes need to take these charges very seriously. An attorney with experience in drug charges defense can help the accused to understand their rights and their options for protecting them.