INDIANA: In a press conference, Acting Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced that the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will no longer prosecute citizens for possessing less than an ounce of cannabis. Indianapolis now becomes the first Hoosier city to exercise “lowest priority” status for dealing with simple possession of small amounts of cannabis.
According to , this policy shift is expected to dramatically reduce the number of marijuana possession arrests made by Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Marion County Sheriff’s Department law enforcement officers. “For many years Indiana NORML has worked diligently to address the severe racial disparities in arrests and prosecutions for simple possession of cannabis and to advance civil liberties,” said Smith. “We’ve also fought for Hoosiers’ right to use medical cannabis with a doctor’s prescription to treat chronic pain and other medical and emotional conditions, so patients can live in peace, without fear of arrest, and criminal prosecution.”
Though INORML has advocated for these changes for decades, the efforts of many of the INORML Board of Directors has intensified over the past months in many different areas. “These efforts have included face-to-face meetings with several elected officials, including representatives of the Marion County Prosecutor’s office, the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys’ Council, and numerous state and local officials over the last several months,” said Bill Groth, Indiana NORML Board of Directors. “We are most pleased that our efforts have finally resulted in a sound, compassionate, and permanent reassessment of law enforcement priorities as they relate to possession of cannabis.”
In the interim, the organization looks forward to working with other public officials to enact similar policies across the state to bridge the gap until the Indiana General Assembly decides to finally take direct action to resolve our detrimental and outdated cannabis laws.