Some Indiana lawmakers are continuing their push to relax the state’s marijuana laws. At a news conference on Thursday, Senate Democratic Chair Karen Tallian promoted Senate Bill 114, which would decriminalize possession of less than one ounce of marijuana an amount that currently carries a penalty of up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of one-thousand dollars. Republican State Representative Jim Lucas introduced a similar decriminalization bill in this session (HB 1048). However, he believes legalization is an uphill battle given opposition from Governor Eric Holcomb and other top leaders. According to data from state prosecutors, marijuana accounted for the second-highest number of arrests in Indiana in the last two years. Senate Democrats are hoping a third bill will gain traction. S-B 86 would provide a defense for the possession of less than two ounces of marijuana, as long as the person has a valid out-of-state medical marijuana card. Lucas contends Indiana is falling behind its neighbors as Illinois, Michigan and Ohio are among the 33 states that have legalized medical marijuana. Recreational marijuana use also is legal in Illinois and Michigan. According to a 2018 Ball State poll, 80-percent of Indiana adults support the medical use of marijuana, and 40-support recreational use.
January 24th, 2020|Local News|