Marion County will no longer prosecute a very simple marijuana possession charge, Prosecutor Ryan Mears mentioned. Here’s why.
Dwight Adams, [email protected]

A spokesman for the Marion County prosecutor’s workplace said 148 pending situations of very simple marijuana possession have been dismissed since a Monday announcement that the office would no longer prosecute people for possessing a little quantity of marijuana

The situations dismissed have been pending prior to acting prosecutor Ryan Mears’ surprise announcement that possessing a much less than an ounce of marijuana would no longer outcome in criminal charges from the office, the spokesman mentioned. 

The new policy, announced one week into Mears’ term as acting Marion County prosecutor, is aimed at diverting sources to violent crimes, such as murder and sexual assault. Mears mentioned he expects the a single-ounce quantity to differentiate customers from dealers, which his workplace nonetheless plans to prosecute.

Acting prosecutor: Marion County will no longer prosecute very simple marijuana possession

“We’re going to continue to prosecute men and women who use marijuana through the course of an accident or if they’re impaired for marijuana, these kinds of situations,” Mears said. “And also public consumption. I do not want persons to get the thought that if you stroll down to the monument, persons are no cost to light up in public. That is not what this is about. This is about producing positive that we treat everyone pretty.”

Possession of marijuana is nonetheless a crime in Indiana, regardless of the acting Marion County prosecutor’s announcement. Police officers can still write a summons or arrest persons who are committing that crime. 

In a memo sent to his officers, Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Division chief Bryan Roach mentioned the new policy does not take precedent more than Indiana law. He encouraged officers to continue applying their discretion on when to create a summons or make an arrest on marijuana possession. 

“I cannot inform IMPD what to do,” Mears told IndyStar. “But the selection to file charges or not is anything that is up to the discretion of the Marion County prosecutor’s workplace. And we do not think that is excellent public policy.”

New Marion County marijuana guidelines: What you must know

Mears, who stepped into the part of prosecutor after Terry Curry stepped down final week, mentioned he’s unconcerned with how the announcement will influence his bid to have the position permanently. The selection was applauded by Mears’ challenger, Tim Moriarty, an lawyer working as particular counsel to Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett.

Moriarty mentioned that if elected Marion County prosecutor, he would retain the policy alter in spot. 

IndyStar reporters Ryan Martin and Crystal Hill contributed to this report. 

Contact IndyStar reporter Andrew Clark at 317-444-6484 or e mail him at [email protected] Stick to him on Twitter @Clarky_Tweets

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