Indiana Senate Democratic Chairwoman Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) has introduced a bill (SB 114) that would put an end to jail time for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Specifically, the bill would amend Indiana law to make possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana a Class C infraction rather than a misdemeanor for first time offenders. Class C infractions are subject to fines of up to $500, but no jail time.
Sen. Tallian did not mince words when discussing the impetus for introducing this bill. “We are well behind the times in the State of Indiana when it comes to cannabis,” she said. “It’s time to allow debate and public input on this matter, and it is time we catch up with our neighbors.” Indiana’s neighbors include Michigan and Illinois, both of which recently legalized recreational marijuana.
It is unclear whether SB 114 will get a hearing in the Indiana General Assembly this year, but its introduction signals that Indiana lawmakers will continue to push for marijuana reform. We will keep you posted on any significant developments on our blog.