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Nearly all pending misdemeanor marijuana cases have been dismissed in Marion County

Posted at 12:55 PM, Dec 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-05 12:55:59-05

INDIANAPOLIS — Nearly all of the misdemeanor marijuana cases that were pending in Marion County when the Prosecutor Ryan Mears announced his new policy back in September have been dismissed.

Mears cited the lack of impact on violent crime as the reasoning behind his decision to no longer prosecutor misdemeanor marijuana possession charges of less than one ounce.

“It’s been clearly demonstrated to us that the enforcement of marijuana laws have had a disproportionate impact on people of color,” Mears said at the September 30 press conference. “We believe that is a wrong that we need to right.”

Since that day, more than 325 cases have been dismissed. A spokesperson for the prosecutor's office says they had roughly 390 pending cases when the new policy was announced, and some of those cases did not fit the criteria for dismissal because they included other charges as well.

The change doesn’t affect public consumption or driving while impaired laws. If a person is smoking marijuana in public or if they’re believed to be driving while impaired, they can still be charged in Marion County.