Cannabis in Indiana
2013 failed attempts to raise or lower penalties
In February 2013, a bill to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana was killed in committee. Following that, the Senate offered an amendment to the previously-approved House Bill 1006, which had included decreased penalties for cannabis possession, with an amendment to instead raise certain types of possession from misdemeanors to felonies. Governor Mike Pence stated: "I think we need to focus on reducing crime, not reducing penalties."
First Church of Cannabis
Pending the 2015 passage of Indiana's Religious Freedom Restoration Act, Bill Levin created the First Church of Cannabis in Indiana. The church was founded in March, and received its recognition as a religious non-profit entity on 26 March, the same day that the governor signed the RFRA. Prior to the RFRA's taking effect, an Indiana police chief warned the church that the RFRA would not protect the church's use of sacramental marijuana .
The church held its first service on 1 July, the same day that the RFRA took effect, and promptly filed a lawsuit against the state, alleging that the state's marijuana laws infringe on the church's.
2015 failed attempts to legalize medical marijuana
In early 2015 bills were introduced both in the House and Senate to legalize medical cannabis for certain severe conditions with a doctor's recommendation, but the House Bill failed to advance and the Senate bill did not receive a hearing.
Laws affecting possession, cultivation and sale of marijuana were amended to reduce the penalties for simple possession, but enhance the penalties for delivery, and possession with the intent to deliver, in certain circumstances (amendments effective on July 1, 2014, under IC 35-48-4).
Sale or cultivation of more than 10 lbs or within 1,000 feet of a school, or any other specialized area will result in a minimum of 2–8 years and a $10,000 fine.
- "Indiana Lawmakers Still Looking to Felonize Marijuana Possession". Thedailychronic.net. 2013-04-05. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
- Stephanie Wang, The Indianapolis Star (2015-07-08). "Indiana's Church of Cannabis files religious liberty suit". Usatoday.com. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
- "Bustle". Bustle. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
- Gacek, Scott (2015-02-10). "Report: Indiana Medical Marijuana Bill Won't Get Hearing". Thedailychronic.net. Retrieved 2015-08-26.
- "Indiana Laws & Penalties". Norml.org. Retrieved 2015-03-02.