Marijuana possession, sale, and manufacture are regulated by both state and federal law. In Indiana, marijuana is classified as a Schedule I substance, which includes drugs that have a high potential for abuse and no recognized medical value. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-48-2-4 (2019).) While not covered in this article, it is also a crime to drive under the influence of marijuana in Indiana.
It is illegal to knowingly or intentionally possess marijuana or hashish in Indiana. Someone who cultivates marijuana plants (or fails to destroy marijuana plants that the person knows are growing on the person’s property) is also in violation of the possession law. Penalties vary, as described below.
(Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-48-4-11, 35-50-2-7, 35-50-3-2, 35-50-3-3 (2019).)
It is illegal to manufacture or distribute marijuana or hashish (or possess marijuana or hashish with the intent to do so) in Indiana. Penalties vary according to the amount manufactured or distributed.
(Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-48-4-10, 35-50-2-6, 35-50-2-7, 35-50-3-2 (2019).)
It is illegal in Indiana to possess, make, or sell drug paraphernalia. Paraphernalia includes items used in growing, harvesting, processing, selling, storing, or using marijuana. Penalties vary according to the violation, but don't apply when the paraphernalia is marketed and sold for legal purposes, such as cultivating, processing, or using tobacco. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-48-4-8.5 (2019).)
Knowingly possessing marijuana paraphernalia is a class C misdemeanor, punishable by up to 60 days in jail, a fine of up to $500, or both. However, subsequent paraphernalia possession convictions are class A misdemeanors, punishable by up to one year in prison, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. (Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-48-4-8.3, 35-50-3-2, 35-50-3-4 (2019).)
Someone who manufactures paraphernalia is guilty a civil infraction, punishable with a fine, but no jail time. The amount of the fine will vary according to the county in which the infraction occurred. However, a second or subsequent violation is a level 6 felony, punishable by between six months and two and one-half years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. (Ind. Code Ann. §§ 35-4-8.1, 35-50-2-7 (2019).)
Selling paraphernalia is a civil infraction, unless the seller knowingly or intentionally violates this law (or violates the law when the seller should have known that the seller’s conduct was illegal), in which case, it is a class A misdemeanor. Civil infractions subject the violator to a fine, but no jail time. The amount of the fine will vary according to the county in which the infraction occurred. A class A misdemeanor carries penalties of up to one year in jail, a fine of up to $5,000, or both. However, subsequent paraphernalia possession convictions are level 6 felonies, punishable with between six months and two and one-half years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, or both. (Ind. Code Ann. § 35-48-4-8.5, 35-50-2-7, 35-50-3-2 (2019).)
Medical marijuana is not legal in Indiana. All marijuana possession, manufacture, sales, and use is criminalized in the state.
A stamp tax is a tax imposed on certain types of transactions (such as the transfer of property) that requires a stamp to be purchased and attached either to the item sold or to an instrument documenting the transaction (such as a deed). The federal government imposes stamp taxes on deeds, the issue and transfer of stocks and bonds, and on playing cards.
In Indiana, those who buy, transport, or import marijuana into Indiana are required to pay a stamp tax and place the stamp (proof of payment) onto the contraband. However, because the possession of marijuana is illegal, people typically don’t pay the stamp tax. When you are convicted for possession, you will also be liable for payment of the unpaid taxes ($3.50 for each gram or portion of a gram). (Ind. Code Ann. § 6-7-3-6 (2019).)
If you have been charged with a marijuana-related offense, consult an experienced criminal defense attorney. While the penalties and consequences of a marijuana charge are governed by statutory law, the law can change at any time. Only a local criminal defense attorney can tell you how cases like yours tend to be handled by prosecutors and judges in your courthouse.