Although drug policy experts predict Indiana will be one of the last states to legalize a medical marijuana program, one tenacious lawmaker refuses to give up on her quest to provide cannabis for seriously ill citizens in the Armpit of America.
On the controversial coattails of the recent congressional decision to no longer use federal funds to interfere with state medical marijuana laws, State Senator Karen Tallian announced earlier this week that she will once again introduce a measure to the state legislature aimed at legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes in the Hoosier state.
“For this upcoming session, I have a bill ready to file to legalize medical marijuana,” Tallian said Tuesday in a press release. “I am ready and eager to get to work after this last major federal obstacle has been lifted.”
While Tallian’s previous attempts to get marijuana legislation recognized by pot-hating primates swinging from the chandeliers inside the Indiana Statehouse have been unsuccessful, she feels confident the outcome of the recent omnibus spending bill, which prevents the US Justice Department from spending tax dollars to harass the medical marijuana community, could sway Indiana lawmakers to reconsider their position.
“My bills in the past have only addressed the decriminalization of marijuana, but I had planned on including a medical facet of the proposal that would allow for medical marijuana in Indiana,” said Tallian, whose recent proposal to adjust criminal penalties associated with marijuana possession failed to receive a hearing.
While Tallian boasts of the success of the 23 states which have adopted policies to legalize medical marijuana, there has not been any significant indication that Indiana is prepared to adopt even the most restricted medical marijuana program.
While most states are working towards decreasing the penalties associated with pot, Indiana Governor Mike Pence recently approved a measure to impose stricter laws on low-level pot offenders. Reports from The Daily Kos speculate this Midwestern war on marijuana is due to a large chunk of Pence’s campaign finances coming from a private prison company called GEO Group. In fact, before GEO agreed to build a 2,500-bed prison facility near Indianapolis, the state was required to sign a contract guaranteeing 90 percent of the beds would remain full.