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Attempts To Loosen Marijuana Laws Dead For Another Year

The Senate has snuffed out another attempt to open the door to medical marijuana in Indiana.

Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portgage) has authored bills in past years to decriminalize pot or allow medical marijuana. This time, she tried instead to allow people with valid prescriptions from other states to use that as a defense against a possession charge.

Sen. Brent Waltz (R-Greenwood) notes there's no similar shield against prosecution for carrying a gun licensed in Indiana into a state which doesn't recognize Indiana permits.

And Sen. Mike Young (R-Indianapolis) says there's no way to ensure other states meet Indiana standards for who can write prescriptions, nor for who's entitled to one.

"We know what this is," said Young. "It's just a pure attempt to go around the law and degrade our system to ensure that our medical personnel are following the laws."

The Senate rejected the proposal on a voice vote.

A second voice vote killed a Tallian amendment to allow marijuana research in Indiana.

"I've been told that there's not enough research out there to determine that marijuana or cannabis has proven medical benefits, but as a nation we have done that to ourselves," said Tallian. "We have made research all but illegal."

Tallian argues the General Assembly and Congress have created a catch-22 by restricting medical marijuana because of a lack of medical evidence, while making it impossible to conduct the research that might produce that evidence.

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