(WHAS11) – On Election Day, voters in Washington and Colorado decided they wanted to legalize marijuana for recreational use.
In the wake of that move, lawmakers in Indiana are now discussing whether possession of marijuana should be decriminalized in the Hoosier state.
“Just looking at young kids pleading guilty to minor possession charges, I said to myself ‘Why are we doing this, we need to fix this,’” Senator Karen Tallian said.
Senator Tallian said she first brought up the topic in front of the Indiana Senate Criminal Law and Sentencing Committee in 2011.
Next year she will introduce a bill that will decriminalize possession of marijuana.
Supporters say decriminalizing will help overcrowded prisons and save taxpayer’s money.
In the current law, possession 30 grams or less carries up to a year behind bars. Some want to ensure, it stays that way.
“I think if you have it, no matter how much you have you should be in jail,” Indiana resident Danny Thompson said.
“I think if you were to make it not a big deal, I think people carrying marijuana would think they could get away with a lot more. You got to look at it from that perspective too,” Jordan Dow said.
14 states have already decriminalized possession of small amounts of marijuana.
This week, Colorado and Washington became the first states to legalize it for non-medical reasons.
A hearing will be held on the matter in the next legislative session which begins in January.