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4654183840_5_shot_by_cops_over_pot_xlargeWhile the rest of the country moves towards softening its pot laws, Indiana may be marching in the opposite direction. The Hoosier State’s penalties for marijuana could get tougher after Gov. Mike Pence said he wanted stricter laws for low-level drug offenders.

The proposed increased penalties could come as part of a proposed overhaul of Indiana’s criminal sentencing laws, reports The Associated Press.

A state Senate committee is expected to vote Thursday on increasing the penalties for marijuana crimes at both the felony and misdemeanor levels.

One proposed change expected to be voted on Thursday would make possession of between about one-third of an ounce and 10 pounds of marijuana a felony rather than a misdemeanor, reports the Chesterton Tribune.

Sen. Brent Steele — who has in the past backed a plan to decriminalize small amounts of cannabis, making possession an infraction rather than a misdemeanor — said he was “comfortable” with the proposed change prompted by Gov. Pence’s stance.

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence wants to "send a message" to pot smokers [American Elephants]

Indiana Gov. Mike Pence wants to “send a message”
to pot smokers

The increased pot penalties are apparently part of a broader plan to direct more people convicted of low-level felonies to work release and other local programs, rather than sending them to prison. (It sounds suspiciously like a cash grab.)

The plan, however, would require those convicted of the most serious crimes to spend longer sentences in prison.

Pence said last week that he believed the bill should “send a message” that the state is “tough on drug dealers.”

The Indiana House already approved the bill by a wide margin in February, with support from many of the chamber’s most conservative and most liberal members.

The overhaul aims to put those convicted of nonviolent crimes into treatment and probation programs in their home counties rather than sending them to the state prison system for short stays, according to bill sponsor Rep. Greg Steuerwald (R-Avon).

Larry Landis, Indiana Public Defender Council: "Quote" [Chris Meyer/Indiana University]

Larry Landis, Indiana Public Defender Council:
“Lowering penalties and lowering crime
are not mutually exclusive”
[Chris Meyer/Indiana University]

Another provision of the new proposal would require than felons serve at least 75 percent of their sentences, up from the 50 percent or less than inmates might now serve if they earn good time and education credits while in prison.

The Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council and other law enforcement types are, surprise surprise, supporting the bill.

But Larry Landis, executive director of the Indiana Public Defender Council, said he was worried that the overhaul will leave the Indiana Department of Correction with too many long-term inmates and not reduce prison costs. Landis said he was concerned that Gov. Pence wasn’t aware of the value of not exposing low-level offenders to high-risk criminals behind bars.

“Lowering penalties and lower crime are not mutually exclusive,” Landis said. “You can do both at the same time if you target the right population.”

 

 

  • John

    They are out of touch, and don’t have a clue. Unless they own stock in the pay for profit jails.

  • Shane Jackson

    Idaho, Indiana, Idiocy… alliterative truth

  • http://www.facebook.com/tndrhrtd Rene Patterson

    so instead of making it partially legal and taxing it to MAKE money, they want to give harsher penalties so the state taxpayers have to pay even more for a longer time to house these so called criminals…… yup that makes alot of sense to me, NOT!

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.adamich.5 Joe Adamich

    THEY DO !

  • http://www.facebook.com/joe.adamich.5 Joe Adamich

    Wouldn’t it be ironic if Gov. Mike Pence developed a malignant tumor that could be reduced destroyed with cannibinoids ? Especially ironic if he got arrested in possession of medical marijuana due to his own laws – or – if he lost his battle with the cancer due to an aversion to marijuana.

    Karma doesn’t always come to everyone but the universe does have a funny way of getting even for moments of grand stupidity.

  • sweetnsassy

    So he let’s murders and baby rapists out to kill and rape again but wants to stick it to nonviolent offenders! Make no sense to me, maybe because it’s really about making cents?!

  • levi stonebarger

    the state anit hard on drug dealers look at Anderson IN! he needs to pull his head out of his ass ….i bet if he dose pass that he wont be in office that much longer better belive that

  • Steve Canon

    And I thought that the south was backward when it came to marijuana. Welcome to the statist state of Indiana.

  • Steve Canon

    Read it again. Both liberals and conservatives in the house passed this garbage. Get it through your head that its not dems vs repubs. Its the state vs the people. Wake up.

  • MisterMeo

    That is horseshit. First Indiana privatizes the prison system, now they do this to throw more people in prison. The people see right through you douchebag. Who wants to bet that the owners of these prisons paid for his campaign… I guess hoosiers should do more homework on the fuckin representatives next time instead of taking mainstream media’s word for it. Man, I’m glad I moved from that wretched state!

  • Daniel Judson

    This is ridiculousness!!! obviously a state fundraiser!!!! Making is so that if you have 10 grams of marijuana, YOU ARE A FELON????? That’s $100 of weed! I live in Colorado and am a proud supporter of amendment 64, and I can testify first hand that since weed has been legalized here, things are better. I got pulled over the other day, and the officer had me open my glove box, which had about 2 ounces of weed in it. The officer asked me to see it, took a big wiff and said “nice!” then gave me the bag back and let me off with a warning! If I was in Indianna, I’d be spending the rest of my life in prison. Note to self and America, NEVER spend a dime in indianna, I WILL NOT let ANY of my tax dollars EVER go to supporting a state with leaders this oblivious to the REAL affects of marijuana. The real effects? a bag of cheetoes and a marathon of family guy rather than a bar fight or a DUI.

  • Swif

    So when he does finally come around to legalizing it, he will be that Drug Dealer…

  • Guest

    Mike Pence those so called “potheads” is what makes up MOST of the state!! if you was even a good governor you would let the People of Indiana speak! Not just what you think is the greater good of Indiana!! Marijuana need to be legalized for Medical use!! its already been proven to help! but i see that YOUR the problem! not the so called “potheads”!! you pass this and i see people leaving indiana to go to states that are opened minded about it! Mike Pence your just running this state into the ground! if you want to be the problem, you will never have a spot as governor anymore! well you might if the people leave! and you will only have maybe 45% of the population left here! dont be the first governor to run its people out of the state! be smart about your power! don’t abuse it!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/austin.k.counts Austin K. Counts

    Sounds to me just like another kick-back from pharmaceutical companies??
    Anyone-else agree??

  • Guest

    Mike Pence those so called “potheads” is what makes up MOST of the state!! if you was even a good governor you would let the People of Indiana speak! Not just what you think is the greater good of Indiana!! Marijuana need to be legalized for Medical use!! its already been proven to help! but i see that YOUR the problem! not the so called “potheads”!! you pass this and i see people leaving indiana to go to states that are opened minded about it! Mike Pence your just running this state into the ground! if you want to be the problem, you will never have a spot as governor anymore! well you might if the people leave! and you will only have maybe 45% of the population left here! dont be the first governor to run its people out of the state! be smart about your power! don’t abuse it!!!

  • http://www.facebook.com/wjdrake William J Drake

    so true! well said

  • Ole Man

    Watch out Bloomington! They’ll be coming after the liberals!

  • The Elephant’s Child

    I’m happy to have my posts at American Elephant linked elsewhere, but don’t be taking my post and changing what it says. If you wanted a picture of Gov. Pence, they’re available on Google. My post was about Gov. Pence’s efforts to promote jobs and growth in Indiana. Pot is not mentioned. I marked your response on my blog as spam.

  • http://www.facebook.com/bryan.miles2 Bryan Miles

    Hey Mike Pence..go fuck yourself with a cactus..Im a 7 year veteran of the ARMY..I suffer from ptsd and multiple other conditions..I use marijuana both medically and recreationaly and your views are just outrageous..Marijuana is not the problem..Stupid is the problem and making more marijuana laws is not gonna fix stupid…YOU CANT FIX STUPID !

  • Shane Jackson

    I guess you own the rights to that photo? Not sure I see any comparison in the two posts other than they are both written in English.

  • conchop

    It never ceases to amaze me how some conservative politicians can work up some heinously puritanical and draconian solutions to something thats absolutely no problem at all …

  • Jetdoc

    As a PROUD HOOSIER… who has since left the state. But I STILL stay involved with what’s happening in my Home State. This is a TRAVESTY OF JUSTICE and Hoosiers should NEVER let this pass!!! Hoosiers need to STAND UP and make your voices heard. Don’t let them get away with this. If you sit idly by and NOT DO SHIT to stop it, you DESERVE what you get

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.spurlock1 Lisa Spurlock

    Unfortunately, many of the people that the State of Indiana would love to have in their for-profit-jails won’t ever get in there. Why? Because many have turned to heroin as a rather inexpensive alternative and have died or will be dead. Why? Because law enforcement has been so good at doing their job…. getting marijuana off the streets. In SE Indiana, we are currently experiencing an epidemic of heroin abuse, overdoses and deaths, it’s all that’s talked about around here. Legalizing marijuana would just about guarantee and end to the heroin problem. Before anybody tries to say it’s just trading one drug for another….. remember….. one cannot overdose on marijuana. Indiana needs to get with it, do like other states do and decriminalize marijuana, legalize it, tax it, get the counties back in the red. Think of all the jail space that will become available for real criminals that routinely get a slap on the wrist.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lisa.spurlock1 Lisa Spurlock

    Unfortunately, many of the people that the State of Indiana would love to have in their for-profit-jails won’t ever get in there. Why? Because many have turned to heroin as a rather inexpensive alternative and have died or will be dead. Why? Because law enforcement has been so good at doing their job…. getting marijuana off the streets. In SE Indiana, we are currently experiencing an epidemic of heroin abuse, overdoses and deaths, it’s all that’s talked about around here. Legalizing marijuana would just about guarantee and end to the heroin problem. Before anybody tries to say it’s just trading one drug for another….. remember….. one cannot overdose on marijuana. Indiana needs to get with it, do like other states do and decriminalize marijuana, legalize it, tax it, get the counties back in the red. Think of all the jail space that will become available for real criminals that routinely get a slap on the wrist.

  • ughmo

    While we’re surrounded by states going legal, Indiana’s elected instead go against the wishes of a majority Ind’s citizens. Makes you wonder who they’re working for, their constituents or themselves and
    the private prison industry.

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