It was announced on September 30 that the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office will no longer prosecute simple marijuana cases. Simple marijuana possession in Indiana refers to an ounce or less. Law enforcement will be able to turn its attention to more serious crimes.
This policy does not apply to minors, WTHR 13 News reported. Under Indiana state law, possessing 30 grams or less is a Level B Misdemeanor. The punishment for this offense is a fine of $1,000 and as long as 180 days in jail.
Prosecutor Ryan Mears said, “Too often, an arrest for marijuana possession puts individuals into the system who otherwise would not be. That is not a win for our community. The enforcement of marijuana policy has disproportionately impacted people of color, and this is a first step to addressing that.”
Mears also said, “I have come to this decision as a veteran prosecutor. I have seen the resources devoted to these prosecutions and believe those resources can be used more effectively to promote public safety, ensure justice for victims, and reduce recidivism. When faced with the choice between prosecuting this and prosecuting acts of violence, my priority is clear.”
Cases involving drug trafficking, dealing or stoned driving do not apply to this change in policy at the prosecutor’s office. Those cases will still be prosecuted in Marion County.