Updated on May 19, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Indiana marijuana laws are some of the toughest in the country, though legislation is pending that would allow qualified patients to access medical marijuana and there is support among the public. To date any sort of possession can result in severe fines and jail time of up to a year. Although there has been some movement toward making cannabidiol (CBD) possession for epileptic patients legal, and an overwhelming majority of voters in the state (73%) are in favor of medical use, Indiana medical marijuana laws continue to lag far behind those in other parts of the country.
It is illegal to possess marijuana in Indiana. In fact, if you cultivate marijuana plants (or fails to destroy marijuana plants that the person knows are growing on the person’s property) you are also in violation of the law.
A state senator filed a bill in January 2017 calling for access to CBD oil for patients suffering from severe epilepsy. Indiana would be only the second state in the U.S. to establish such a program. The measure would allow certain children suffering from “intractable” epilepsy to use the oil, which doesn’t contain enough of the psychoactive component THC to create any sort of euphoria, or “high.” Some of these children suffer hundreds of seizures a day. In addition, advocates for medical marijuana law are fighting to make it legal for those with other types of health problems, such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder).
When it comes to medical marijuana laws in Indiana, this is a major sign of progress. However, the state has a long way to go. There have been several bills introduced in the state legislature over the last few years, but none of them have progressed very far.
SB 255 and HB 1316 introduced the establishment of a medical marijuana program called DOME, or the Department of Marijuana Enforcement. This department will permit patients and caregivers to possess marijuana for treatment of certain medical conditions. It will also grant medical marijuana research licenses to facilities with a physical presence in Indiana.
Rep. Jim Lucas announced in August 2017 that he would be introducing legislation to legalize medical marijuana during the next session.
Marijuana laws in Indiana can be extremely harsh in some instances. While possession of 30 grams or less is considered a Class B misdemeanor — punishable by no more than 180 days in jail and a fine of no more than $1,000, someone caught with less than 30 grams who has a prior drug offense could be looking at as much as a year in jail and a fine of up to $5,000. If the amount is 30 grams or more with a prior offense, the penalties range from six months to 2.5 years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.
Anyone convicted of manufacturing paraphernalia under Indiana marijuana law faces a fine of up to $10,000, with a subsequent conviction resulting in a jail sentence of anywhere from six months to 2.5 years. Possession of paraphernalia carries the same punishments, as does a conviction for dealing in paraphernalia. In addition, if someone is convicted of possessing, selling or distributing marijuana, they face a driver’s license suspension that will last anywhere from six months to two years.
Even though an increasing amount of scientific literature points to the medicinal qualities of the cannabis plants, in states such as Indiana, the movement toward changing Indiana medical marijuana laws is progressing at a painfully slow pace. MarijuanaDoctors.com will continue to monitor events in the state and provide updates. No matter where you live in the country, we want you to be as well informed as possible regarding this extremely important issue, so check back with us often.