Washington and Colorado have voted to decriminalize marijuana—could Indiana be next?
State Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) has introduced Senate Bill 580, which would lessen the penalty of possession of less than two ounces of marijuana to an infraction. Violators would then be fined. The bill would reduce the penalties for distribution and possession of metabolites while driving. It would also bolster industrial hemp production and scrap the $3.50/gram tax.
Washington and Colorado voted to decriminalize marijuana in November. The future of those laws remains in doubt, however, because the federal government could still enforce federal law.
In November, Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell told a legislative committee that he would “legalize and tax” marijuana, saying the substance wasn’t going anywhere and that the national trend was going in that direction. State police later clarified Whitesell’s comments, saying that he was speaking in a “philosophical” sense and wasn’t offering a legal opinion, adding that Whitesell, as a police officer, didn’t support marijuana legalization.
You can read the bill in its entirety here.