Indiana is not one of those states that have loosened its approach to marijuana. Except in very limited circumstances, marijuana is not legal in Indiana.
Possessing a small amount of marijuana –– under 30 grams — is a misdemeanor that comes with the possibility of a fine and up to 180 days in jail. Someone with a prior drug-related conviction may face tougher misdemeanor penalties.
An Indianapolis resident may also face a misdemeanor charge for selling or growing a small amount of marijuana. Again, the magic number is 30 grams.
A person is more likely to face felony charges when the amount of marijuana involved weighs more. A person who provides the drug to a minor in any amount will face felony charges.
Although misdemeanor charges might not seem like the worst thing in the world, it is important to remember that a person still faces the possibility of jail, fines and other penalties from the court.
Furthermore, the person will have to live with a drug conviction on their record, which can in turn mean lost job opportunities and other professional and personal consequences.
What are my options if I am facing a marijuana charge?
When accused of possessing a small amount of marijuana, a first-time offender may wish to enter what the law calls a conditional discharge program.
If a person follows the rules which the court sets out for 1 year, the court will dismiss the pending marijuana charge. Rules might include attending drug education classes and submitting to drug screenings.
Not everyone is eligible for this option. Those who are eligible should remember that to participate in the program, they may have to admit to the offense.
There are some common defenses available to those accused of marijuana-related crimes. Those facing charges in state court should evaluate their legal options carefully.