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Indianapolis Criminal Attorney
John "Jack" Razumich
Criminal Attorney
Andrew Redd
Criminal Attorney


Understanding the Criminal Justice System

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How Do Indiana and Federal Marijuana Laws Differ?

Recreational marijuana is now legal in 16 states in the U.S. and the District of Columbia. Despite loosening marijuana laws across the country, possession and distribution of marijuana are still illegal in Indiana and under federal law. However, if you’re facing charges for marijuana violations, the penalties you face will differ based on whether you’re facing federal or state charges.

Indiana Marijuana Laws

Indiana is one of only 14 states in the U.S. with no medical marijuana laws. It’s also one of only 19 states where you can face jail time for simple possession of marijuana. In other words, Indiana law enforcement still takes possession of marijuana seriously, even though a 2016 poll of Indiana residents found that 73% supported legalizing marijuana possession.

Possession of any amount of marijuana for personal use in Indiana is a Class B misdemeanor punishable by fines of up to $1,000 and up to 180 days in jail. However, if you have a prior conviction for a drug offense, you can face a class A misdemeanor for possessing under 30 grams of marijuana. A Class A misdemeanor is punishable by up to a year in prison and a $5,000 fine. For more than 30 grams and a prior conviction, you’ll face level six felony charges punishable by up to 2.5 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Possessing CBD products with less than .3% of THC is still legal.

Federal Marijuana Laws

Possessing any amount of marijuana is also still a federal criminal offense under the Controlled Substances Act. The Act classifies marijuana as a Schedule 1 substance, defined as:

(A) The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse.
(B) The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States.
(C) There is a lack of accepted safety for the use of the drug or other substance under medical supervision.

21 U.S.C. § 812(b)(1). The schedule 1 classification keeps doctors from legally prescribing marijuana despite its widespread use for many medical conditions. Simple possession can land you up to a year in prison and a $1,000 fine under federal law. However, cultivating and distributing marijuana can result in up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, depending on the quantity involved.

You Need an Experienced Indiana Criminal Lawyer

If you’re facing federal or state marijuana charges, it can still be a serious matter with severe penalties. You need an attorney well versed in defending marijuana charges who can aggressively protect your rights. The skilled criminal defense attorneys at Razumich & Associates have been defending Indiana citizens for years, and they can help you too. Call us today at 317-983-5333. Or you can email us at [email protected] or contact us through our website.

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