Over a dozen states have legalized the use of marijuana as a medical treatment for issues like glaucoma, to comfort cancer patients during the rigors of chemotherapy, or to alleviate chronic pain and anxiety. With such limited legalization came the care providers and the dispensaries, who (like the users themselves) have to file with their state governments to engage in what had heretofore been considered illicit business.
Looking Over the Fence
Indiana has long resisted the conversion to medical marijuana, even as states on its borders (like Michigan) went ahead and bent to the will of the voters. When a newly-elected governor came in and immediately expressed a desire to repeal the medical marijuana law, he was somewhat surprised to find that lawmakers had no desire to run afoul of an electorate that had spoken loudly and clearly on the matter.
Benefit to All Sides
Even when a hard-line Attorney General tried to crank up the heat in Michigan, the courts intervened to uphold the rights of patients and everybody else up the chain, from the care providers to the dispensaries to the growers. As time has gone by, and Michigan’s plan has been proven to work for all parties involved (including the state tax collectors), Indiana appears poised to be the next domino to fall in the medical marijuana game.
Indiana Senate Bill 192 was introduced earlier this year by Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes). If it passes, it will require the State of Indiana to review its policies and penalties regarding marijuana possession, how to best implement a medical marijuana program, and how to regulate and tax such a program. It passed the Senate in February, 28-21, and awaits action in the Indiana House of Representatives. If approved, reforms will be summarily undertaken by the Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee.