Under the current law, possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana could net an offender a $5 thousand fine, and up to one year in prison. The proposed law would make the same amount a misdemeanor with a much lower minimum penalty.
"I have just spent to many years watching young people plead guilty to marijuana possession cases one after another," says the bill's author, State Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage). Tallian says that because many experts believe the drug is not dangerous, the state should spend less time and effort criminalizing it.
According to records form the Fort Wayne Police Department, nearly 600 arrests were made in 2012 for marijuana possession, and 33 for selling pot.