Medical marijuana bill on its way to Indiana legislature — and a Republican is behind it

A Republican lawmaker plans to introduce a bill during the upcoming legislative session that would legalize medical marijuana.

Rep. Jim Lucas of Seymour said he is still working out the details, but has "every intention of introducing a bill that legalizes medical marijuana."

"I can’t comprehend how we can deny people something that provides them with relief that’s not addictive and is not killing anyone when we know for a fact that prescription opioids are killing people," he said.

Lucas has been soliciting feedback on the topic on Facebook and said he has discussed the topic with doctors, veterans organizations and advocacy groups such as the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.


Indiana Lawmaker Pushes for Medical Marijuana to Curb Opioid Epidemic

An Indiana republican lawmaker plans to file a proposal to legalize medical marijuana in hopes it could curb the state’s opioid epidemic.

Rep. Jim Lucas said he has heard from several people in his district who believe they could benefit from the drug.

"People telling me their personal stories, how they've been helped by this product, how far behind Indiana is on this issue,” said Lucas. “That right there, we have a responsibility to at least investigate it and determine the facts, and if there is something positive out there, we have to pursue that."

Lucas said his research of medical marijuana was sparked after learning the Indiana Alcohol and Tobacco Commission reportedly raided a store for selling CBD oil – a substance people have been using to cure pain.  


Marijuana Access Advocates Weigh Paths Forward In Indiana

Indiana may not join the next wave of states that legalize medical or recreational marijuana, but it doesn’t mean Hoosiers can’t partake in the booming business.

That was the message from national Marijuana Business Association founder Dave Rheins at a forum in Indianapolis Tuesday night.

In a cigar smoke-filled room at a downtown social club, he told a small crowd other states’ up-start marijuana sectors need lawyers, marketers, investors and agritech experts to get involved.

“You do not have to be a farmer to be a part of the cannabis and hemp revolution. … You do not have to touch the plant,” he says. “These small and medium businesses, they need money, but they need, more than that, your experience as professionals.”


Marijuana extract could soon be legal for Indiana epilepsy patients

Hemp plants grow at Meigs Farm, part of Throckmorton Purdue Agricultural Center south of Lafayette. After the plant was legalized for research purposes in 2014, a Purdue professor planted in June 2015 Indiana’s first industrial hemp in 80 years.(Photo: Joseph Paul/Journal & Courier)

Trace amounts of the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana could soon be legal for Indiana epilepsy patients under a measure headed to Gov. Eric Holcomb's desk.


States Push Marijuana Legalization Bills Despite Opposition from the Federal Government

Lawmakers in about two dozen states have proposed bills this year to ease their marijuana laws despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions' warning that he could crack down on pot, a major change from the Obama administration, which essentially turned a blind eye to the state legislation.

Bills have been introduced in 17 states this year to make recreational pot legal for adults, while five others are considering voter referendums on the issue. Sixteen states have introduced medical marijuana legislation, 10 are considering decriminalizing the drug and three are considering easing their penalties. An effort in Wyoming to decriminalize the drug failed this session.


Legislature Considering Indiana's First Medicinal Cannabis Laws

This legislative session, a record 11 proposals addressed the use of cannabis. Most of them never got a hearing, but two are still moving through the legislature and could become Indiana’s first medical cannabis laws.

Indiana is one of six states that have not passed any form of medical cannabis legislation, including CBD.

CBD stands for cannabidiol, also known as “hemp oil.” It is a non-psychoactive cannabis, with low tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC – so it can’t get people high.

For the past seven years, senators have sought Dr. Trent Jones’ testimony on the topic. He spoke from California last January, via Skype.


Indiana House Approves Medical Marijuana Bill for Epilepsy Patients

People who have epilepsy could be treated with a marijuana-derived oil under a bill approved by the Indiana House.

The bill passed the chamber Tuesday on a 98-0 vote. The state Senate previously approved a similar measure.

Indiana’s legislature has long resisted efforts to allow the use of medicine derived from marijuana, but that appears to have changed this year. Supporters say the bill’s approval marks a significant shift after years of medical marijuana-related bills stalling.

The bill would allow the use of cannabidiol oil, which is commonly referred to as CBD. The measure is a far cry from legalizing a comprehensive medical marijuana program.


Indiana Senate OKs Treating Epilepsy With Oil From Cannabis Plant

An Indiana measure that would allow some epileptic people to be treated with oil derived from cannabis plants has cleared the state Senate.

Indiana is among the last states to forbid even the issue of marijuana extracts that are low in THC and high in cannabidiol, or CBD, the compound that studies suggest may help reduce epileptic seizures.

The measure creates a registry for some physicians, nurses, individuals and caregivers to treat intractable epilepsy with cannabidiol and permits pharmacies to dispense it. The Senate has sent it to the House for consideration.


Indiana medical marijuana proponents take hope in bill hearing

When an Indiana Senate committee heard testimony on a medical marijuana-related bill, some proponents saw a glimmer of hope.

The measure would create a pilot program for “hemp oil” derived from cannabis plants, a far cry from a comprehensive medical marijuana program. But to supporters it marks a significant shift after years of medical marijuana-related bills dying in the Senate.

The state is among the last to forbid even the use of such marijuana extracts low in THC and high in cannabidiol, CBD, which studies suggest may help reduce epileptic seizures.


Will The Hoosier State Legalize Medical Marijuana in 2017?

 There's been a sudden flurry of legislation in Indiana to reform the state's marijuana laws. State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, has introduced a marijuana bill for the seventh straight year. 

Senate Bill 255 would create an an agency to work out details for allowing the use of medicinal marijuana. It would allow patients with a variety of health conditions, including migraines and post-traumatic stress disorder, to use cannabis with the go-ahead from their doctor. It would also give access to patients suffering from "any persistent or chronic illness or condition." 

Tallian said it's one of several proposals to tweak the state laws.


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