If local officials no longer want to enforce anti-marijuana laws, Indiana Republicans want the state to step in.
That is the gist of the legislation that was approved Tuesday by a panel in the state senate. The bill would allow the Indiana attorney general’s office to intervene if a county prosecutor were to not enforce a particular law—a direct response to a policy announced last year by the prosecutor of Marion County, where the capital and largest city Indianapolis is located, to no longer pursue simple marijuana possession cases.
The bill, introduced by Indianapolis GOP state Sen. Michael Young, was endorsed by a 6-3 vote by a state Senate committee.
“It’s because of the social justice prosecution phenomena that’s going on throughout the country,” Young said, as quoted by the Associated Press. “I wanted to try to head it off in Indiana.”
Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears, a Democrat, announced in September that his office would “no longer prosecute possession of marijuana cases involving approximately one ounce or less of marijuana when the charge is the only or most serious charge against an adult.”
“I have come to this decision as a veteran prosecutor. I have seen the resources devoted