TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - A day after the Illinois House of passes a bill to legalize marijuana for medical use, legal experts in Indiana look at what the potential law could mean across state lines.
If you are a Hoosier, but your doctor practices in Illinois and you have prescriptions filled in the land of Lincoln, could you be arrested for having medicinal marijuana if that's what the doctor ordered?
With Illinois just a few miles to the west it's a likely scenario for many in the Wabash Valley. So we sat down with Vigo county prosecutor Terry Modesitt to get the answer.
Modessit said there are past cases where a doctor's prescription from another state has been used as a defense for prescription drug possession cases.
However, no such defense exists in Indiana law to cover medicinal weed from any states. The Vigo County prosecutor said that means even with a prescription, medicinal marijuana in Indiana would be illegal to possess.
But, prosecutors could take each on a case by case basis.
"If we (county prosecutors) looked at it and the person was on oxygen and had a legitimate need for it and all those kinds of things," Modesitt said. "we always have a right to look at each case and say even if the law doesn't say it's a valid defense (we can) decide whether or not we think that's sufficient grounds to use our discretion and our judgment to say we're not going to file a charge in this case."
Modesitt said with the law passing in an adjoining state, it may be time for Indiana lawmakers to look into how to handle these cases.
A definite ruling from the General Assembly would give Indiana legal officials a more clear response. But it's all up in the air until the bill passes into law in Illinois.
Illinois would become the 19th state to legalize marijuana for medical purposes.
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