Two bills are making forward progress in the Indiana State Legislature. One will examine if the state should consider marijuana legalization while another would make it more difficult to get the cold medications used in making methamphetamines. A balance of tightening control on one bill and loosening it on another.
The marijuana bill will go before the full Senate and requests the state crime policy panel studies Indiana’s marijuana laws and makes recommendations as to the potential legalization of the substance. The criminal law committee advanced this measure with a 5 to 3 vote.
State Senator Karen Tallian (D Portage) sponsored the bill and has concerns about the money spent by the state and local Indiana governments on the enforcement of current marijuana laws. An unlikely supporter, conservative Representative Tom Knollman has multiple sclerosis and states he believes medical marijuana should be considered in the state.
He spends about $25,000 a year on pain medication, something he says isn’t always effective. He says “I hear that one of God’s plants is working to help ease the pain of multiple sclerosis.”
The meth bill will also go before the full Senate and would track the sale of common cold medicines via computer. Some law enforcement groups were hoping the committee would suggest prescriptions for medications containing pseudoephedrine but that wasn’t the case.
Instead, if passed, the meth bill would require drug stores to track the sales of such medications on computers and report attempts by people to purchase more than the current allowable amount. Under current law, where such cold medications are limited, meth labs initially fell in the state. However, there has recently been a resurgence as meth makers find new ways around the restrictions.
A local former Sheriff states “We’ve forced the bad guys to expand their criminal enterprise by bringing more people in buying their lawful amount of pseudoephedrine.” And he’s right. While they used to just buy up the medication, they now enlist others to help, sometimes sending multiple people into multiple drug stores in exchange for drugs.
Currently, Indiana drug laws are some of the harshest in the country. Being caught with methamphetamines, no matter how much, is a felony. Even if you only have a quarter-gram, you could face up to 3 years in prison and a felony record that will haunt you for life.
There are many factors that go into determining the charge you face and your potential penalty. Though the type of drug and amount are often the first you think of, your criminal history and other factors can play a role as well. If you’re facing drug charges and in need of an experienced defense lawyer, contact our attorneys today for a consultation on your case.