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GOP Indiana Lawmaker Proposes Medical Marijuana Legalization

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Photo: U.S. Fish And Wildlife

Rep. Jim Lucas says medical marijuana could provide people an alternative to addictive opioids.

Indiana Republican State Rep. Jim Lucas is backing medical marijuana as an alternative method to curb the state’s opioid epidemic.

Lucas says medical marijuana could provide people an alternative to addictive opioids, and he combats claims that it is a gateway drug.

“When you look at the opioid epidemic that we’re fighting right now, and it is an epidemic … all of this stems from prescription drugs,” Lucas says. “So if ever there was a gateway drug, it’s prescription opioids.”

Jeff Staker runs the non-profit Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis and is hopeful that Lucas’ proposal will gain momentum and support from other legislators.

He says this situation is unique since legalization bills historically come from Democrat officials.

“I would like to stress on both the House and the Senate side that the GOP take a hold of these bills and get us hearings,” Staker says.

Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill expressed his opposition to legalizing marijuana in an op-ed statement published earlier this year with the Indy Star, saying lawmakers need to work to curtail drug use, not promote it.

“Simply legalizing ‘marijuana as medicine’ is just a timid way of tiptoeing into waters that conscientious lawmakers know in their hearts should be avoided,” Hill wrote.

Lucas plans to continue researching the proposed alternative and bringing attention to the option.

“I know for a fact that we have an obligation as elected officials to at least research the issue and get the facts out there,” he says.

Want to contact your legislators about an issue that matters to you? Find out how to contact your senators and member of Congress here.

  • leestraw

    ompassion and love is where we all start from. If we want to help people we need to take a step back, take a breath, look at all the options and see what the facts say? I have talked to experts, patients, veterans, politicians, and advocates from all over the country. The answer is the same from everyone who has looked at the whole research and not cherry picked just what they wanted out of it.
    Medical cannabis benefits for patients far outweighs it few negatives for a small minority of people who might abuse it? The few who are opposed to it are picking slivers of data out of large studies and not looking at the expert conclusions on the topic which usually concluded medical cannabis negative consequence data after evaluation really was either: net neutral or only possibly negatively affecting on a few people in a marginal way.
    Not to say that there are no negative impacts from cannabis/marijuana. The impact is similar to other FDA approved prescription medications that people are currently taking on traffic accidents, school performance and other studied activities of life.
    So, if we are going to look at this with any logic? Keeping medical cannabis/marijuana illegal is absurd. We might as well make every other FDA approved medication illegal too because we already have had worse outcome with many of the other FDA approved medications to include death in some case which has not happened with medical cannabis/marijuana.

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