AG Curtis Hill seeks to intervene in federal immigration case involving Marion County Sheriff's Department
State has legitimate interest in defending its own laws, AG asserts
Attorney General Curtis Hill announced today that he has filed a motion to intervene in the federal case Antonio Lopez-Aguilar vs. Marion County Sheriff's Department, et al. The motion to intervene was filed in order to defend Indiana’s law prohibiting local governments from establishing policies against cooperating with federal authorities in the enforcement of immigration laws.
On November 7, 2017, a federal judge approved a consent decree in this case between the two parties in which both agreed that the defendant – the Marion County Sheriff’s Department – would not cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention requests. Because both the defendant and plaintiff supported the consent decree, the Attorney General said, no one in the case represented Indiana’s legitimate interest in upholding state law. In addition, he said, no one notified the Office of Attorney General about the case before the consent decree was entered.
The case stems from a September 2014 incident in which federal authorities asked the Marion County Sheriff’s Department to detain Antonio Lopez-Aguilar until ICE officers could take him into custody for allegedly being in the country illegally. At the time, Lopez-Aguilar was appearing in Marion County Traffic Court on a misdemeanor charge of driving without a license.
Such a decree, Attorney General Hill said, runs counter to Indiana law and public safety. “Our nation’s immigration laws are put in place to protect the public. Establishing a policy that requires law enforcement personnel to not cooperate with each other not only violates Indiana law but jeopardizes public safety,” said Attorney General Hill.
For a more complete explanation of the state’s motion to intervene, see the attached document.
AG Curtis Hill: Cannabidiol (CBD) products are illegal in Indiana
Attorney General Curtis Hill today released the following statement in conjunction with the issuance of an advisory opinion from his office regarding the legality of cannabidiol products.
“Over recent weeks, I’ve worked with my staff to develop an advisory opinion regarding the status under Indiana law of the chemical compound cannabidiol – better known as ‘CBD.’ Cannabidiol is one of the most prevalent chemical compounds in the cannabis plant, otherwise known as marijuana.
“This issue has drawn public attention this year following law-enforcement actions against Indiana stores marketing and selling ‘CBD oil,’ a substance delivered to consumers in dropper bottles, sprays or mists – all generally to be taken orally.
“My task at this juncture is not to express my personal view of what I believe the law ought to stipulate. My task, rather, is to help provide clarity regarding what the law already says as written.
“There is no doubt, as a matter of legal interpretation, that products or substances marketed generally for human consumption or ingestion, and containing cannabidiol, remain unlawful in Indiana as well as under federal law.
“Indiana law does allow for a limited and focused exception created by House Enrolled Act 1148, signed earlier this year, aimed at individuals battling treatment-resistant epilepsy. This legislation pertains specifically to individuals properly added to the newly created Indiana State Department of Health Cannabidiol Registry.
“Cannabidiol is classified under state and federal law as a Schedule I controlled substance because marijuana (Cannabis sativa) is a Schedule I controlled substance. State and federal laws that place cannabidiol in the category of a Schedule I controlled substance do not hinge on the degree or prevalence of pharmacological effects of a substance on a person.
“The manufacture, possession, use and sale of cannabidiol – and substances, food products or edible oils containing cannabidiol – are unlawful under both Indiana and federal law. Any individual possessing a substance containing cannabidiol – or anything packaged as such – in plain view of a law enforcement officer is subject to having that property seized. Only upon showing that one meets the limited conditions under Indiana law could one expect to avoid being prosecuted under Indiana law. Further, no one in Indiana is authorized to sell cannabidiol or any substance containing cannabidiol under state or federal law.”