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Grow Indiana Together pushes for cannabis legalization as Indiana lawmakers consider issue

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Indiana lawmakers will meet Tuesday at the Statehouse for a summer study committee meeting on the legalization of cannabis.

The study committee will hear testimony from Hoosiers both for and against legalization, including cannabis legalization advocate Justin Swanson from Grow Indiana Together.

Grow Indiana Together is a nonprofit that supports efforts to legalize and tax all hemp and cannabis products for adult use in Indiana.

Swanson stopped by News 8’s “Daybreak” on Tuesday to talk about the group and why he believes its mission is so important for Hoosiers.

“Grow Indiana Together is Indiana’s first political action committee, bipartisan, for supporting candidates and incumbents that support responsible cannabis reform. We really act as kind of a platform for Hoosiers to join the fight,” Swanson said.

Swanson explained what he wants state lawmakers to take away from his testimony.

“We want to really show that we have a thriving hemp market here that can easily transition into full cannabis. We really want to position our farmers and small businesses in a way that will allow them to capture what our research shows is a $2 billion market in Indiana.”

The reality, according to Swanson, is that Indiana is one of only 13 states that doesn’t provide a regulated cannabis market for its citizens.

“Our argument is, whatever your hesitations or concerns are with cannabis or cannabis consumption, those are actually better addressed and mitigated under a regulated market rather than leaving it up to the illicit market,” Swanson said.

At the federal level, cannabis remains an illegal drug considered to have a high potential for dependency and no accepted medical uses.

Gov. Eric Holcomb has previously said he supports the idea of medical marijuana but says the state should not act unless Congress makes a move at the federal level.