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Tippecanoe County prosecutor keeping zero-tolerance on marijuana possession

This comes after Marion County announced changes in marijuana possession cases Monday.

Posted: Oct 3, 2019 6:29 AM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — Tippecanoe County is keeping its zero-tolerance stance on marijuana possession.

This comes after Marion County announced changes in marijuana possession cases Monday.

Acting Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said they will no longer prosecute adults possessing less than one ounce if it is the only or most serious charge.

Possession of marijuana is a Class-B misdemeanor in Tippecanoe County, with no prior convictions. This carries a maximum penalty of 180 days in jail.

Tippecanoe County Prosecutor Patrick Harrington said prosecutors work to enforce the law, not make them. He said the state legislature is the only body who should be writing laws.

"There are 91 prosecutors in the state of Indiana," said Harrington. "If every prosecutor decided they don't like this law or that law and they don't follow it, then you don't have state law. You have 91 kingdoms."

Harrington said Tippecanoe County offers many resources to help those who are convicted.

"We worked hard to form these coalitions and these programs to help those individuals who are brought into the system on an arrest to get them an evaluation and then offer them treatment," said Harrington.

Harrington said these programs have helped decrease the number of repeat offenders within the county. They are available through referrals by service providers.

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