Marijuana advocates in Indiana excited about Michigan legalization

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — Some Hoosiers are already taking trips up north now that Michigan has legalized recreational marijuana.

As of Thursday, people 21 and older can legally possess marijuana in Michigan. They can have 2.5 ounces on them, and they can keep up to 10 ounces in their home. The state is still working on licensing recreational marijuana sales, so it could be a while before dispensaries start popping up in the state.

David Phipps with pro-marijuana group Indiana NORML says legalization in Michigan is a huge win for Hoosiers.

“A lot of our followers are already going up there, and a lot of them are veterans seeking medical help, and they can’t get it here in Indiana, so they are going to go up north and get it,” Phipps said.

State police say you may want to tap the brakes if you are planning on bringing marijuana across the state border.

“As soon as that crosses the Indiana state line it becomes illegal to possess, to cultivate, to smoke, to use all the marijuana illegally,” Sgt. John Perrine said.

If you’re caught with marijuana you could end up in jail with a misdemeanor charge and must pay fines, but police are not planning to step up enforcement.

“If it becomes a problem where people are transporting across state lines more so than what we usually see of course we will target those areas with specialized patrols, but at this point we don’t have anything planned,” Sgt. John Perrine said.

Thirty-three states have already legalized marijuana in some form. Some lawmakers hope to add the Hoosier state to the list. In fact, they’ll be introducing a bill to legalize medical marijuana in Indiana next month.

Phipps is optimistic our state will eventually follow its northern neighbor.

“The fact of the matter is out of all of those states that have implemented medical cannabis programs, not a single one has repealed the program, they’ve only added to the program opening up more access to their patients,” Phipps said.

Any marijuana legislation in Indiana would need the signature of Governor Eric Holcomb, who said last month he’s open minded to medical marijuana, but he wants the Food and Drug Administration and Justice Department to give approvals, which hasn’t happened yet.

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