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Indiana Statehouse

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STATEHOUSE — After hours of debate and hearing testimony from experts, state lawmakers taking part in a study committee looking into the possibility of legalizing pot in Indiana came away with no recommendations for the upcoming legislative session.

In the six-hour session, they had testimony about the possibility of decriminalization of possession of the drug along with potential health and economic benefits from the products.

Naysayers of legalizing pot in some capacity in Indiana hit hard on the opinion that if pot were to be legalized it would have negative effects on the state’s workforce, especially if pot is still illegal on the federal level.

Supporters of legalizing pot pushed what they called a state-regulated marijuana market, which they say would focus mostly on access to medical marijuana for people who use pot to deal with various ailments.

A few medical experts said in response that even with that regulation, it would still increase the likelihood that teenagers could get their hands on pot and would have negative impacts on employment. They say it will make it hard for companies to find workers since many companies enact drug testing of employees.

Supporters of legal pot retorted again that that line of thinking doesn’t make sense since alcohol and tobacco use have been normalized and the consequences of the use of those products is already being passed on to kids.

Furthermore, supporters also pushed the economic benefits of legalizing pot through taxing it.

In the end, the committee did not vote on any recommendations to be sent to lawmakers ahead of the 2024 legislative session.

Indiana is one of 12 states in the country that have still not legalized marijuana in some capacity for medicinal or recreational purposes.