Marijuana Legalization Remains a Hot Button Issue in Indiana
Legalizing Marijuana in Indiana
It’s no surprise that the topic of legalizing marijuana is one that may stir the strongest of opinions. With the drug legally being available in surrounding states like Illinois, Ohio, and Michigan, Hoosiers may wonder when Indiana will follow in their footsteps.
Jobs Tour Program
Indiana politicians showed their support for the legalization of medical marijuana at a “Jobs Tour” event held in Nappanee on March 5th.
The Jobs Tour Program is an educational forum that is held in each congressional district of Indiana and is open to the public. Local and state officials discuss topics that contribute to the economy in Indiana, like the American Rescue Plan Act and Infrastructure Investment. Officials hope to show Hoosiers how the economic benefits of these programs impact their own families. Part of the forum’s agenda included the legalization of medical marijuana.
All in Favor, Say Yay!
Many politicians favor the legalization and decriminalization of cannabis for the large economic gains it would mean for the Hoosier State, including an increase in jobs.
Destiny Wells, a candidate for Indiana’s Secretary of State, said, “So our neighbors have done this, and they are making millions of dollars off the industry, they are bringing more jobs into their state, and we’re not.”
Maureen Bauer, 6th District Indiana State Representative, emphasized the importance of remaining competitive with neighboring states, fearing that Indiana may “fall behind.”
What is Marijuana Doing for the Surrounding States?
According to the Marijuana Policy Project, tax revenue data shows Illinois earned $387,695,992 and Michigan earned $188,306,010 in 2021 alone. As of February 2022, Ohio also boasts earnings of $724.5 million in product sales since the legalization of medicinal marijuana.
Those who oppose the legalization of marijuana cite public health and substance abuse, road safety, and crime as areas of concern.
Where is Indiana at with Legalizing Marijuana?
Thirteen bills were introduced at the Indiana Statehouse in 2022. None of them advanced out of committee. As WRTV.com reported, they all "went up in smoke." They went on to say that the legalization of marijuana will be a hallmark issue for Democrats in upcoming elections.
With opposition from Governor Eric Holcomb and other elected officials, Bauer feels Hoosiers are being misrepresented.
“80% of the state, of Hoosiers, support medical cannabis, or adult use, and so, we really aren’t representing our districts well when we refuse to hear 13 bills that were filed this year on the topic,” Bauer states.
As the tour continues to visit Indiana districts, the push to legalize medical marijuana and its potential for economic success continues to be a hot topic among Hoosier residents and politicians.
I Feel Strongly About This Issue - How Do I Contact My Representative?
You may contact the Indiana House of Representatives at (317) 232-9600, (800) 382-9842 , (800) 382-9842. Contact your Indiana State Senator at (317) 232-9400, (800) 382-9467 or through Legislators web site regarding state government issues.