The Indianapolis Star recently reported a story about a Greenfield, IN resident who’d been pulled over for a basic traffic stop, and ended up getting arrested for possessing marijuana.
Did he have marijuana? No. He had the CBD flower, which is completely legal in the state of Indiana.
Why was he arrested? According to the Greenfield Police Department, CBD flower looks like marijuana, smells like marijuana, and was identified by a drug-sniffing police dog as marijuana. Even though it wasn’t marijuana.
Why all the confusion?
Hemp (and its compound CBD) is legal, marijuana is not. Both are strains of the same cannabis sativa plant. Here’s the difference: marijuana contains a compound called THC, which is responsible for the “high” associated with pot. Hemp is the same plant, without the THC, and with significantly more cannabidiol, or CBD.
Indiana CBD law states that CBD, CBD flowers, and hemp are all legal, as long as they contain less than .3 percent THC.
But the police department in Greenfield, as well as others across the state, does not have the tools to measure the actual THC levels in CBD flowers—which is the single element that distinguishes it from pot – and that makes it much tougher for police to discern the difference.
Indiana CBD law is extremely clear, but police are still struggling to keep up with the legislation. And as CBD gains popularity across the country, other law enforcement agencies are likely facing the same challenges.
So, while CBD is legal to use, you’ll probably want to take some basic precautions. First, be sure to keep your CBD products in the container they came in. Legal CBD products are labeled accordingly, and have a QR code that links back to the product. That may help if you’re ever in a jam. Second, be practical. If something in your car or home looks like marijuana, the police have probable cause, and every legal reason to search it, which can lead to an arrest, and more, even if the substance is later found to be legal CBD. Don’t carry your CBD around in your car, or keep it on the hall table by your front door. And if you have questions about the legality of CBD in your state, or you find yourself in trouble, be sure to speak to an attorney who specializes in CBD. Or at least knows the difference.
Check out Soupwire for the latest in CBD information.