Indianapolis, IN–(ENEWSPF)–July 15, 2011. A special General Assembly committee is slated to hear testimony this summer regarding whether state lawmakers should significantly liberalize criminal penalties pertaining to the possession of marijuana for medicinal or recreational purposes.
Members of the interim study committee on Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy will review the issue and make policy recommendations. The committee’s first scheduled meeting on the issue is slated for late-July.
To date, sixteen states and the District of Columbia have passed laws allowing for the limited use of medical marijuana under state law. Fourteen states have adopted separate laws reducing the personal possession of small amounts of cannabis for non-medical purposes to a fine-only infraction or misdemeanor.
Under present Indiana law, minor marijuana possession is classified as a criminal misdemeanor offense punishable by up to one year in jail, a $5,000 fine, and criminal record.
NORML previously testified in February in favor of establishing the marijuana study committee.