Medical Marijuana in Indiana: Is it Coming to Indiana or Has it Been Here All Along?

July 29, 2019

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

Indiana is becoming surrounding by states, Michigan and Illinois , that are relaxing their laws to allow for the recreational use of marijuana. Both of these states are expected to legalize recreational marijuana use by 2020. This is in addition to numerous other states that have already legalized, de-regulated, or permitted the use of marijuana for medical purposes. Many Hoosiers are deeply entrenched in this debate, and it often seems like Indiana might very well be the last state to legalize marijuana use, even for medical purposes….or will it?

The active substance that creates the sensation caused by ingesting marijuana is THC, which has been legal in Indiana as a medical treatment in pill form for nausea and vomiting since 1985. This pill has been sold under the brand name Marinol . Marinol is a laboratory grade dronabinal, a synthetic version of Delta9-THC, the primary active ingredient in marijuana. Marinol has been approved by the FDA and has shown positive results when treating certain symptoms. It metabolizes through the body in the same way as Delta9-THC that is ingested through regular marijuana usage and is indistinguishable through current laboratory testing.

So, given the similarity, what makes Marinol different from regular marijuana? The answer is found in chemistry. Marinol does not contain all of the active ingredients of marijuana and is a synthetic form of Delta9-THC. However, it is precisely this ingredient that is being tested by the Indiana State Department of Toxicology when it is looking for marijuana in the body in drug-driving DUI cases.

Currently, the possession and dealing of marijuana, as well as the operation of a motor vehicle with active or inactive marijuana in the body, are illegal in Indiana. So, if you or a loved one have been subject to an arrest of any kind for a marijuana-related charge, contact the attorneys of Keffer Hirschauer LLP today. We stand ready to provide our clients with trusted representation and accurate information regarding the law and its application to their individual case. Act now and contact us today at (317) 857-0160.