ISP talks about possible impact of recent legalization of medica - WDRB 41 Louisville News

ISP talks about possible impact of recent legalization of medical marijuana in Illinois

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SELLERSBURG, Ind. (WDRB) -- With the recent legalization of medical marijuana in Illinois, law enforcement officials in Indiana are preparing for a possible increase in marijuana trafficking.

The state of Illinois just recently approved the legalization of medical marijuana.

Officials say the first approval letters have been sent to Illinois patients who've applied to use medical marijuana legally.

It's still too early to tell what kind of impact this will have on Illinois' border states, but Indiana State Police say they're preparing.

"We've been discussing this ever since Colorado and Washington State and some of the other states out west decided to legalize marijuana," Sgt. Jerry Goodin with Indiana State Police told WDRB.

Last week, Illinois officials announced that more than 350 aspiring business owners had applied to grow or sell the state's first legal and taxed cannabis.

Officials say the first legal marijuana will be available to registered patients in the spring of 2015 so it hasn't caused an increase yet, but officials say it's only a matter of time.

"We've kind of just been discussing it amongst ourselves trying to figure out if it will affect us, how it will affect us and what our protocol is going to be," said Goodin.

Colorado's border states have reported an increase in marijuana-related busts. It's said legal states often grow more than they're allowed and the surplus ends up crossing state lines illegally.

But Illinois has approved medical marijuana -- not recreational. Patients there must have a written certification from a doctor and get a background check. Then they have to pay $100 a year to apply for a medical marijuana card.

Patients also must be diagnosed with one of the dozens of qualifying medical conditions, such as cancer.

Even so, Sgt. Goodin said it's on their radar. He wants everyone to understand if you possess marijuana legally in Illinois, it must stay in Illinois.

"In the state of Indiana, it is illegal to possess marijuana. You can't possess it under any circumstance. There are no medical permits. If you're traveling through Indiana and you're from, say, Colorado or Illinois or one of the other states that allows you to have marijuana, you better not have it on you in Indiana, because if you do get stopped and it's located, you'll go to jail."

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