Having marijuana may no longer be a crime in Indiana if State Senator Brent Steele gets his way. Instead of jail time for having pot, you'll instead get a ticket if the Steele's planned legislation passes.
The proposal is getting enormous reaction from people who read the story on our Facebook page.
Ten grams of marijuana or less can land you behind bars now. Steele wants to change that.
"We gotta make some serious decisions with a lot more serious crimes than this," said Steele.
That's why Steele said he'll propose legislation that calls for fining people for having that much pot, instead of arresting them.
"We gotta make a decision where we spend our money as a state," said Steele. According to Steele, Indiana has been spending too much on people caught with ten grams or less of marijuana.
"Thousands of dollars are involved in the prosecution of it and, usually, these people end up with public defenders," Steele explained. "And then, if they end up in the probation system, we just spend thousands of dollars on this, and I just think it's a waste of money," he added.
And several hundred who commented to Eyewitness News tonight on our Facebook page, agree. Some posted that they'd been arrested for having that amount of marijuana, and even less.
One WTHR Facebook fan posted, "I don't smoke but going to jail for marijuana makes no sense when there are murderers out there that need those seats in prison."
Another echoed that feeling, posting, "I'd rather pay my tax dollars to the prisons full of people who are dangerous than just people who get high!! Who are they hurting, besides themselves?"
Others were concerned about the message such a proposal would send about using drugs. "I think if you're caught with any you should go to jail! It's a drug. It rots your brain. It's awful! Jail!!!!" was posted in opposition to Steele's idea.
Another person posted, "Disagree! I've seen what it has done to my kids and grand kids. It's illegal. Lets leave the law alone!"
"I don't think what I'm going to propose has a thing to do with encouragement, whatsoever," said Senator Steele.
Steele said he's not pushing to legalize pot. He's just pushing to save the state money.
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