Is Cannabis Legal in Indiana?

Weed isn’t legal in Indiana, whether you have a legitimate medical reason or whether you just want to get high. Here’s a run-down of how things stand.

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Lee Johnson

Lee Johnson is the senior editor at CBD Oracle, and has been covering science, vaping and cannabis for over 10 years. He has a MS in Theoretical Physics from Uppsala...

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Map of marijuana laws in Indiana
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Key Takeaways

  • Weed is not legal in Indiana for recreational use.
  • In the simplest case (less than 30 grams possession with no priors), you can be put in prison for up to 180 days and fined up to $1,000.
  • Medical marijuana is still illegal in the state despite efforts to legalize it.

Weed is not legal in Indiana, whether for medical or recreational purposes.

Indiana weed laws are some of the harshest in the country, so there are very few options if you’re looking to get high and stay on the right side of the law.

Unfortunately, hemp delta-9 is one of your only legal options in the state, or you can take advantage of the de facto decriminalization in Marion County.

Finding out more about the laws around recreational and medical marijuana in Indiana gives you the information you need to stay safe in the state.

Cannabis is not legal in Indiana, regardless of whether you have a medical need or just want to get high.

The only legal weed products are made from industrial hemp.

Indiana recreational weed laws make it clear that possession, cultivation or even allowing cultivation of marijuana on your premises is a crime.

The law also specifically mentions hashish, hash oil and even salvia (assumedly because the appearance is similar) in the same section, to avoid any doubt.

Penalties for Possession

The penalties for possession of weed in Indiana depend on whether or not you have previous convictions, but the difference in punishment by quantity is handled pretty crudely.

  • For a first offense, it’s a class B misdemeanor and carries a maximum punishment of 180 days in prison and up to $1,000 in fines.
  • For a subsequent offense, where the individual has less than 30 g of marijuana or less than 5 g of hash or concentrate, it’s a class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • For a subsequent offense with larger amounts, it’s a level 6 felony, punishable by between 6 months and 2 and a half years in jail and a fine of up to $10,000.  
  • It’s also illegal to possess paraphernalia (basically anything you use to consume cannabis other than rolling papers), punishable by up to 60 days in jail and a fine of up to $500.

Medical marijuana is not legal in Indiana.

Despite an attempt to legalize it in 2015, the Indiana medical marijuana bill didn’t advance past the House, and the Senate version of the bill died before even receiving a hearing.

This is an ongoing fight, with medical bills (among others) being proposed in 2022, 2023, and 2024 but all unfortunately failing.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card

There is no medical marijuana program in Indiana, so you can’t get a medical marijuana card.

Public Consumption

Since marijuana is illegal in Indiana, regardless of your purpose for using it, you can’t consume it in public.

You would get in trouble for possession, according to the amount and whether you had any prior convictions.

Can You Drive Under the Influence?

Driving under the influence of marijuana is illegal in Indiana, just like it is in every state, whether they’ve legalized weed or not.

However, the way states approach it differs substantially, and Indiana is surprisingly forward-thinking in this regard (although still not too much). 

Many states have a “per se” law, which basically states that driving with any marijuana metabolite detectable in your blood is a crime, even if you’re not intoxicated.

After the passage of Senate Bill (SB) 201 in 2021, if the person just had a marijuana metabolite in their blood, was not intoxicated or impaired, and didn’t cause a traffic accident, they can’t get a DUI for it.

However, if you do get caught driving under the influence of marijuana, the punishments are:

  • For a first offense, it’s considered a class C misdemeanor, and carries a penalty of between 5 and 60 days in jail, up to 180 hours of community service, a fine of up to $500, license suspension for up to 2 years, probation for up to 2 years and court fees of up to $300.
  • For a second offense, it’s a level 6 felony, and is punishable by between 5 days and 3 years in prison, a fine of up to $10,000, license suspension for between 180 days and 2 years, and probation for up to 2 years.
  • For a third or subsequent offense, it’s still a level 6 felony, and punishments are very similar to a second offense, except with a minimum of 10 days in jail and license suspension for a minimum of one year.

Delta-8 THC is likely not legal in Indiana, although this is debated.

Although SB 516 (page 3, Section 6) defined hemp in line with the limits of the 2018 Farm Bill, Attorney General Todd Rokita issued an opinion in January 2023 stating that delta-8 THC is actually illegal in the state.

We have more details about this in our full post on delta-8 THC in Indiana, but the short version is that the Attorney General and the industry had differing interpretations of state law.

The initial result from the court came down on the side of the state, rejecting the lawsuit’s request for a preliminary injunction against Rokita and the state’s interpretation of the law.

In short, this means that Rokita’s opinion stands and delta-8 THC will at least be treated as illegal in the state for the immediate future.

However, this issue is generally not considered settled by lawmakers.

RELATED: Where Is Delta-8 THC Legal? A State-by-State Map

Is Weed Decriminalized in Indiana?

Weed is not decriminalized in Indiana, despite recent efforts to decriminalize it.

The reasoning behind this is as simple as it ever was: people should not end up in jail or with a criminal record for simple possession of cannabis. But this argument hasn’t been successful so far. 

The only exception to this has been the provision that “per se” weed driving laws don’t make sense and intoxication should be present if you’re going to punish someone.

SB 201 originally also included decriminalization language and was drafted by Republican senator Mike Young of Indianapolis, but overall the split is that Democrats are pro-legalization/decriminalization, and Republicans are opposed.

However, in Marion County, the county prosecutor is no longer prosecuting cases of simple marijuana possession, provided the amount is less than an ounce (28.35 grams). This is to allow police to focus on violent crimes and to reduce the prison population.

You may still be put in jail temporarily if the police think it’s necessary (for reasons beyond simply having possession), and it’s not exactly clear what the punishment is (no set fine amounts were given, for instance), but weed is essentially decriminalized in Marion County.

Growing weed is not legal in Indiana.

Growing marijuana (unless you’re otherwise allowed to do so) is classed as “manufacture” and carries specific penalties.

  • If you have no prior offenses and the amount you’re caught growing is less than 30 g (which is admittedly fairly unlikely if you’re cultivating), it’s a class A misdemeanor and carries a punishment of up to a year in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
  • If you have a prior offense and the amount is less than 30 g (or, for this and the above, 5 grams of hash oil or hashish), then it’s a level 6 felony, punishable by between 6 months and 2 years, 6 months in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. This is the same as the punishment for growing over 30 g with no prior offense.
  • If you have a prior offense and the amount is above 30 g (but less than 10 pounds), it’s considered a level 5 felony and is punishable by between 1 and 6 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. This is the same as the punishment for having over 10 pounds with no prior offense.

Indiana has a long history of attempting to legalize either medical or recreational marijuana, or trying to decriminalize it. Unfortunately, these bills have a long history of not making it beyond the committee stage.

2024’s proposals have gone the same way, with a medical cannabis bill, a decriminalization bill and a legalization bill all meeting the same fate. 

With Marion County’s experiment with decriminalization and the embattled hemp legislation being the only positive signs about Indiana weed laws, the situation doesn’t look too promising for stoners in the state. 

In line with this, Frank Lloyd, on the board for Indiana’s chapter of NORML, described decriminalization at state level in 2022 as “extremely optimistic, at best,” adding that, “Realistically, we’re starting the clock for the next two to three years on a decriminalization bill or a medicinal cannabis bill.”

With the federal rescheduling of marijuana on the horizon, state democrats are starting to feel more optimistic about their chances in the next legislative session, but the outcome remains to be seen. The fight has been going on for some time, and progress has been incredibly slow. 


Aside from the limited legality of hemp products and a local experiment with decriminalization in Marion County, Indiana weed laws kind of suck.

Not only can simple possession land you in jail (aside from in a single county), you can also get jail-time for paraphernalia and it’s not even possible to get marijuana if you have a legitimate medical need for it.

With neighboring states having full legalization or at least a medical program, Indiana is starting to look a little behind the times when it comes to weed law.