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Cannabis advocates not letting legislature snuff out their efforts

Indiana lawmakers likely won’t take up cannabis

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s highly unlikely Indiana lawmakers will consider legalizing marijuana when the next session begins in January.

Republican State Senator Kyle Walker said, “I continue to be supportive of cannabis legalization in Indiana, but will not be filing a bill this session. This is a significant policy discussion and will require more time than available during a short session.”

Under the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018, also known as the hemp bill, Hoosier entrepreneurs can sell CBD-based products since it is hemp-derived.

Scott Hughes opened the WildEye Cannabis Lounge in Fountain Square in 2021. Anyone who enters must be 21 and sign a waiver. Hughes’ goal isn’t to get people high, it’s to educate them, and help those suffering from chronic illnesses

“We had an 80-year-old grandmother do her first dab at the bar right here. My parents even come in here for the wellness aspect of it, to get the CBG and CBD.”

Hughes wants state lawmakers to fully decriminalize cannabis in Indiana, not just so it can be enjoyed recreationally.

“Because we need some sound rules to follow, and guidelines for everyone to participate by, we need appropriate age legislation.”

On Nov. 1, Keith Johnson of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) told the Interim Study Committee on Commerce and Economic Development that cannabis helped him recover from a terrible car accident.

“I finally said enough is enough,” Johnson said. “They maxed me out on morphine and pain management therapy, and I stopped all that and picked up cannabinoids.”

NORML is encouraging Hoosiers who want cannabis legalized to write their lawmakers, since unlike other states, marijuana can’t be legalized via ballot referendum.

“I really do believe that 50 state legality is inevitable,” Johnson said. “It’s just how long are we going to wait? How many more excuses are we going to have to come up with?”

A spokesperson for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce told the study committee the chamber opposes the legalization of marijuana for recreational or medicinal use until its efficacy and safety have been proven through clinical trials.