“Is Weed Legal in Indiana?”

July 25, 2022

By Keffer Hirschauer LLP

“Is Weed Legal in Indiana?”  

No, weed is not legal in Indiana. In fact, Indiana considers weed (more commonly known as cannabis, marijuana, or pot) a Schedule I drug. This classification means that, in this state, it is illegal to cultivate, possess and/or deal weed. The details of this prohibition are found in Indiana Criminal Code 35-48-2-4(d)(31), which further outlines an additional prohibition on synthetic analogs closely related to Tetrahydrocannabinol (commonly known as THC). Common examples of synthetic weed include Spice, K2, or, more generally, herbal incense.  

While there are some intricacies to Indiana weed laws, it is important for you to remember that the penalties for growing, possessing, and/or selling this drug can be severe, especially if you have been convicted of prior drug offenses. If you have been arrested and charged with a crime related to weed in Indiana, you should retain the counsel of an experienced attorney with a deep understanding of the marijuana laws in Indiana. If you need to talk with someone today, an experienced Indianapolis criminal defense lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP can explain your rights under Indiana marijuana laws, and ultimately, represent you in criminal or other relevant proceedings. 

What Are the Weed Laws in Indiana? 

Although most states bordering Indiana have either legalized or decriminalized weed possession and/or use, Indiana weed laws are still strict. Despite the growing legalization movement across the country, theIndiana General Assembly has not legalized or decriminalized weed. As a result, you can still face significant penalties if you possess, sell, cultivate, or even use a small amount of weed. Moreover, weed products legally purchased in another state or jurisdiction, like edibles, vape pens, oils, and capsules, become illegal the moment they cross into Indiana and may lead to harsh penalties. 

Weed is still federally illegal, as well, which means that possession, sale, or cultivation on federally owned land, such as a national park or military base, could result in a federal drug charge. In addition, bringing or shipping weed across state lines could lead to federal drug trafficking charges, even if it is as little as a single gram. 

Indiana Laws on Low-THC CBD Products  

Under Indiana Code 15-15-13-7, Hoosiers are allowed to purchase and consume low-THC CBD under the condition that it is derived from industrial hemp. Under this law, any person may buy, sell and possess CBD oil, given that it contains no more than 0.3% THC and meets specific labeling requirements.  

However, it’s important to note that, under Indiana Code 35-48-4-10.1, you are prohibited from manufacturing, delivering, and possessing smokable hemp, as defined in Indiana Code 35-48-1-26.6. Offenses under this law will be considered a Class A Misdemeanor.  

There is one exception to this law, and it pertains to the transit of smokable hemp through the state of Indiana. For instance, if you’re transporting a federally legal hemp product from Illinois to Ohio and must pass through the state, the possession of that hemp is exempt from this prohibition.  

Cannabis Possession in Marion County 

In September 2019, Ryan Mears, then acting Marion County Prosecutor, announced that the Marion County Prosecutor’s office would no longer prosecute certain cannabis-related offenses. This announcement did not officially decriminalize weed in Indianapolis. Instead, it means that anyone arrested with simple possession of under one ounce of weed will not face formal charges from the Marion County Prosecutor. However, all other offenses related to weed, such as driving under the influence, cultivation, or sale, will continue to be pursued and charged by the prosecutor’s office.  

Indiana Penalties for Weed Offenses 

Despite the growing legalization movement around the country, weed (more commonly known as marijuana or cannabis) is still illegal in the state of Indiana. If convicted of possessing, selling, or cultivating weed in Indiana, you could face penalties as minor as probation and fines of up to $1,000. You could also face penalties as severe as six years in prison and fines of up to $10,000.  

Indiana Penalties for Possession of Weed 

Under Indiana Code 35-48-4-11, possession of weed (more commonly known as marijuana) is a Class B misdemeanor, resulting in a sentence of up to 180 days in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. If an individual charged with possession has a prior drug offense, possession of fewer than 30 grams is a Class A misdemeanor with a potential one-year sentence and a maximum fine of $5,000. Anyone in possession of at least 30 grams and with a prior drug offense conviction faces a Level 6 felony, which carries a penalty of six months up to two and a half years of jail and a maximum fine of $10,000. 

Indiana Penalties for Possession of Weed Concentrates 

Weed concentrates, like hash, dabs, shatter, and wax, possession of fewer than two grams is a Class A misdemeanor, which can carry a penalty of up to one year in prison and a maximum fine of $5,000. If charged with possession of more than two grams of concentrate, or if you have a prior conviction involving cannabis and possess less than two grams of concentrate, you will face a Level 6 felony, punishable by six months and two and a half years of jail, and a fine of up to $10,000. 

Indiana Penalties for Sale and Cultivation of Weed 

In Indiana, under Indiana Code 35-48-4-10, the sale and cultivation of weed are penalized in the same manner.  

The sale or cultivation of… 

  • Fewer than 30 grams of weed is a Class A misdemeanor, which carries a punishment of up to one year in jail and a maximum fine of $5,000 
  • More than 30 grams but less than ten pounds of weed is a Level 6 felony, which carries a punishment of six months to two and a half years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000 
  • More than ten pounds of weed is a Level 5 felony, which carries a punishment of one to six years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000.   

In addition, selling weed to a minor is a Level 5 felony, regardless of the amount. This offense may carry a punishment of one to six years in jail and a maximum fine of $10,000. 

Penalties for Weed-Related Offenses in Indiana 

Regarding the manufacturing, possession and/or sale of paraphernalia, your conviction may result in a Class A infraction, which is punishable by a fine of up to $10,000. Any subsequent conviction is a Level 6 Felony, punishable by six months to two and half years in jail, as well as a maximum fine of $10,000. 

Additionally, in accordance with IC 35-45-1-5, visiting or maintaining a building, structure or vehicle where drug activity occurs or is currently occurring may result in a conviction of a misdemeanor. This is punishable by a maximum sentence of six months in jail, as well as a fine of $1,000.  

Indiana Weed Laws and Driving While Intoxicated 

As you may know, DUIs are not limited to alcohol. In Indiana, the state can charge you with a DUI or OWI for driving under the influence of weed. To prove this, they only need to show that THC or it’s metabolite was present in your body at the time of the operation of the motor vehicle. To be clear, Indiana law does not require that you be impaired to be found guilty and convicted of driving under the influence. All that is necessary to support the conviction is the mere presence of THC in your system, and evidence of other elements regarding the offense. This is important to remember because unlike alcohol, weed can be detected in your system for weeks after last use.  

Testing Drivers for Weed

Drivers in Indiana are already subject to implied consent to chemical testing. So, if an officer pulls you over and has probable cause to believe that you are driving under the influence of weed, they may request you to undergo testing within the next three hours or risk losing your driving privileges. If you refuse to comply with this testing requirement, your driver’s license will be suspended immediately for one year. If you have a prior DUI conviction, the suspension will be enhanced to two years.  

Penalties for Driving While Intoxicated under the Influence of Weed 

Depending on your criminal history, the penalties for driving under the influence of weed vary. If this is your first offense, you can be charged with a misdemeanor. However, you still may risk a sentence of up to one year in jail, a maximum fine of $5,000, the suspension of your license, and up to two years of probation.  

Penalties for Subsequent Violations:  

  • Second DUI Offense: Level 6 Felony, if charged within seven years of first DUI conviction; a minimum sentence of five days up to two and a half years in prison, fines up to $10,000, license suspension of six months to two years, and probation for two and half years.  
  • Third DUI Offense: Level 6 Felony, if charged within seven ears of first DUI conviction; a minimum sentence of ten days up to two and a half years in prison, fines up to $10,000, license suspension of six months to two years, and probation for two and half years. 
  • Additional Offenses: Further offenses carry similar penalties but may result in an indefinite suspension of driving privileges and sentencing enhancement, if you are deemed a habitual vehicular substance offender 

*It’s important to remember that if you were operating a vehicle under the influence and it resulted in the death of someone else, or a minor was present in the vehicle, you may face enhanced or additional penalties.  

Got Caught with Weed? Call Keffer Hirschauer LLP 

If you have been charged with a crime related to weed or any other scheduled drug, an effective Indianapolis drug crime lawyer can help you navigate criminal proceedings. The criminal defense attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP are former deputy prosecutors who are aggressive and determined in their defense strategies. They have decades of experience defending individuals charged with drug crimes and will work tirelessly to protect your constitutional rights.  

To learn more about drug laws in Indiana, or to begin working on your defense today, call Keffer Hirschauer LLP at (317) 648-9560 or complete our online contact form. 

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