INDIANAPOLIS — Another session, another round of bills regarding the legalization of marijuana filed by State Sen. Karen Tallian of Portage.
Tallian has once again filed the same bill that she has filed the last several legislative sessions, which would legalize recreational marijuana use in Indiana as long as the person using pot only has up to two ounces on them.
The bill has been killed every time Sen. Tallian has filed it. This year, however, she has filed two additional bills that are related to legalizing marijuana in Indiana.
“I’m also filing a bill that would legalize medical marijuana,” Tallian said. “But, if they are going to give me grief about the other two, this third one we really need and we need it right now.”
That third bill Tallian speaks of would set up a state agency, similar to the Alcohol and Tobacco Commission, that would oversee and regulate any cannabis products in Indiana. That would include marijuana if it were to be legalized.
“We have already passed legislation allowing the use of CBD Oil and requiring that it be labeled, but no one is in charge of regulating it,” said Tallian. “The public general supports this. We need to understand that this just needs to be treated like alcohol.”
Tallian acknowledges that that her bill legalizing recreational pot is a long shot to pass, as is her medical marijuana bill. She said she is filing these two bills again simply to keep the marijuana conversation going among her fellow state lawmakers.
That’s also why she will be putting the most effort behind her third bill to set up a state agency to regulate cannabis. She is also hopeful that this agency will help farmers if they choose to grow industrial use hemp.
The federal government rolled back restrictions on industrial hemp in the new farm bill making it easier to for farmers to grow, but in Indiana it is still illegal to grow.
(PHOTO: Ethan Miller/Getty Images)