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Legal marijuana next door could mean more weed arrests in Indiana

SOUTH BEND, Ind. – High drivers and bringing pot across state lines has local police on the lookout with the legalization of recreational marijuana next door.

Michigan voters Tuesday said yes to Proposal 18-1 that allows those over the age of 21 to use, possess and even grow their own marijuana.

State police say they expect a lot of people to cross the state lines with marijuana purchased legally in Michigan. But, to be blunt, you can and will be arrested for possession of marijuana in Indiana.

“If I can go to Michigan and buy it legally, can I bring it to Indiana?” Sgt. Ted Bohner of Indiana State Police said. “And to be the bearer of bad news -- absolutely not.”

Bohner said it’s only a matter of time before people start to bring marijuana into Indiana from Michigan.

“I think I’d be naïve to say no that it’s not gonna happen. I’m sure it will happen.”

Another worry from police is people driving drugged.

“If you bring it here you can be arrested for possession of marijuana,” Bohner said. “If you use it, and are driving impaired, it’s still operating under the influence and that will be dealt with as well.”

For many in Indiana, people bringing marijuana across the state lines has them worried.

“It’s so close, they will be coming back and forth because they figure that’s the better stuff,” Indiana resident Mary Hicks said.

Adryen Curry, another Indiana resident, said he thinks people driving high will be a problem.

“I think there will be smuggling going on at the state line and we should be on the lookout for it,” Curry said.

Others don’t think the legalization of weed is a problem.

“I don’t see any reason for it to be illegal in the first place,” Daniel Wylde said. “Marijuana’s effect on your ability to drive is nowhere near the same as alcohol.”

For police, it will be business as usual.

“We always try to go after people driving impaired and people who have drugs,” Bohner said. “Will we have more cases of it now? I guess time will tell. You could make the assumption that most likely there will be more with how close we are to Michigan.”

If you are caught or suspected of driving high, you will be sent to the nearest hospital for a blood test and you could face OWI charges. A timeline for when people can walk into a dispensary in Michigan and buy marijuana is still unclear.


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