Indiana will not be one of the next states to legalize medical marijuana. While the social media has been buzzing with some level of wishful enthusiasm for the past several months over the possibility that 2015 could be the year when state lawmakers finally loosen their collars and debate the issue of cannabis medicine, it appears this is not likely to happen again this year.
State Senator Karen Tallian, who introduced the latest proposal to legalize medical marijuana to Indiana, took to Facebook on Monday to announce that her proposal, Senate Bill 284, was denied yet another hearing by the head of the Senate Health and Provider Services Committee.
“Today, I was informed by Chairwoman Patricia Miller that my medical cannabis bill will not be given a hearing once again this year,” she wrote. “I spoke with Senator Miller at least once a week about my bill and I began to fear that this was going to be the result, since I could not get a definitive answer from Senator Miller.”
However, Tallian is adamant this set back is not her “last dace with Mary Jane,” as she plans to investigate every possibility to resuscitate the proposal before the session ends. “I am not giving up on this topic during the 2015 session,” wrote Tallian. “I am determined to have the necessary debate on this topic during this session of the Indiana General Assembly. I am exploring options to amend current legislation to include medical cannabis as a viable medical alternative for the citizens of Indiana.”
A legion of angry Indiana residents immediately began to comment on the disheartening news, some with even a twinge of sarcasm. “Welcome to Indiana,” wrote one commenter, while others simply opted to bury their frustrations in encouragement. “Thank you for your perseverance,” wrote another.
Marijuana activists across the Hoosier state are also seething mad over the latest debacle in Indianapolis. Last year, Bill Levin, Chairman at Re-Legalize Indiana, claimed he was confident the state was on the path to reforming its marijuana laws. “I believe in the next three years of elections, we will vote out of office anyone whom disagrees with us,” he said.
Yet, in a series of Facebook posts, it is readily apparent that Levin is at his wit’s end with the sandbag tactics of the state government. “Karen Tallians Indiana Medical Marijuana bill has been shot down in flames over the state house this afternoon,” he wrote. “Thank your state reps and state senators for this act of ignorance.”
It is still too early to tell exactly what changes Senator Tallian will make to her proposal in an effort to earn another shot at a hearing later this session. Unfortunately, a more restrictive bill could be in the future.