READ: State Rep. Sue Errington’s proposed legislation to establish a cannabis compliance commission to regulate all forms of legal cannabis in Indiana, including industrial hemp and low THC hemp extract
IndyPolitics: In his annual end of the year interview, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb says he has no problem if lawmakers started the process of putting a plan in place to legalize marijuana.
2018 Hoosier Survey Poll: About 80-percent of Hoosiers support some form of cannabis legalization, 78-percent do not want simple possession to be a crime
INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today celebrated Governor Eric Holcomb’s decision to endorse State Representative Sue Errington’s proposed legislation’ that would create an infrastructure for the cannabis industry once Indiana legalizes medicinal or recreational marijuana at the statehouse. During an interview with Indy Politics, Holcomb said he has “no problem with lawmakers putting a plan in place” ahead of cannabis legalization.
Lucky for Governor Holcomb, Indiana Democrats have gone on offense and plan to introduce this legislation. State Representative Sue Errington has drafted legislation for the Indiana General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session that would “establish a cannabis compliance commission to regulate all forms of legal cannabis in Indiana,including industrial hemp and low THC hemp extract” – aka, create an infrastructure for cannabis growers and the state to safely and effective create an economic revenue stream for the State of Indiana. Just like the American Rescue Plan and The Jobs Act, Democrats are once again proving to be the party that’s ready to deliver for Hoosiers when it matters most.
“A large majority of Hoosiers believe it’s past time to legalize cannabis for recreational and medicinal use, and Indiana Democrats would like to thank Governor Holcomb for supporting State Representative Sue Errington’s proposed legislation to create an infrastructure that’s needed to create a robust and strong cannabis industry across Indiana,” said Mike Schmuhl, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. “Indiana Democrats announced its support for legalized cannabis because it would take Indiana’s economy to the #NextLevel, create therapeutic opportunities for Hoosiers, and eliminate unnecessary and life-altering injustices in the legal system. This policy idea is some Hoosier Common Sense, and Democrats call on Indiana Republicans to join this effort and not let their partisanship come before what would be an economic boom for the Hoosier State.”
A brighter future will be created for Hoosiers if the Indiana General Assembly legalizes marijuana in 2022. Hoosiers currently contribute millions of dollars to Michigan and Illinois economies — where cannabis is legalized. This can be changed because once authorized, Indiana’s economy would have a guaranteed cash crop in the long-term for the state’s businesses and farming communities, creating a revenue stream for the General Assembly to use in future sessions. Further, marijuana has been found to reduce opioid, alcohol, and prescription drug use and can be used as a therapeutic for Hoosier veterans to treat issues like PTSD and seniors to battle chronic pain and arthritis. Lastly, adding recreational marijuana to state law would introduce the pathway for Indiana to expunge criminal records of Hoosiers who were arrested for simple possession, which a large majority of Hoosiers believe should not be a penalized crime. There’s without a doubt legalizing cannabis would create a better future for Indiana and its families.
Legalizing marijuana has bipartisan support. Indiana Democrats – led by former State Senator Karen Tallian – have called for some form of cannabis legalization for the last decade. Democrats plan to introduce various forms of legalization or decriminalization legislation for the Indiana General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session. Further, Republicans like former State Senator Jim Merritt and State Representative Jim Lucas have also called for various forms of legalization – with Merritt writing an op-ed just last month.
Should Governor Holcomb and Indiana Republicans continue to say “NO” to cannabis, they will continue to prove to Hoosiers they are a political organization that values extreme partisanship ahead of a better future for families built on popular issues. Like with the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, Indiana Democrats are ready to once more deliver more opportunity for Hoosier families. Legalizing cannabis is a common-sense solution a huge majority of Hoosiers want, and Democrats are ready to get this done.