Indiana is looking to drastically reform its relationship with cannabis. The state currently has three bills that have been filed to reform cannabis laws. One will decriminalize possession of up to an ounce of marijuana, one will nullify a law approved earlier in the year to ban smokable hemp and CBD, and the third to create a compliance commission to regulate CBD product licensing.
Senator Saren Tallian, who sponsored the bill, wants to free up resources for the state and help it move forward. She cites the 22,000 arrests that were made for cannabis in the state in 2018 as a main contributor for needing this reform.
“Maybe we’re not putting people in jail in every county. But 22,000 arrests is a lot of court time, and a lot of these people will still end up with a criminal record.” Tallian told the South Bend Tribune.
The bill is supported by Representative Jim Lucas, who has already sponsored a decriminalization bill in the house. His goal is to make sure that residents don’t get unnecessarily penalized, and that they shouldn’t have to travel to get their fix. With Michigan already allowing legal cannabis, if residents want to responsibly partake, they have easy access to cannabis.
“That’s the hypocrisy of our policy right now,” Lucas said. “We have these outdated, senseless laws on the books that make a criminal out of an otherwise responsible adult for having small amounts of cannabis.”
With many prosecutors in the state refusing to go after small low level possession cases, the reform seems like a natural progression. While there are pockets of resistance, many believe that current laws are a conflicting circus that needs to be remedied.