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Marijuana Committee Hears Testimony At Statehouse

Lawyers, doctors and an economics professor were among those who testified Thursday before a committee considering Indiana’s marijuana laws and policies.

Ideas presented to the committee included complete legalization and taxation of marijuana, legalization of medical marijuana and a probationary program allowing marijuana possession to be kept off the record of first-time offenders.

Portage Senator Karen Tallian says she brought the issue before the committee to get the conversation started for the next legislative session.

“I think we’re going to have the basis for something next year,” she said. “Don’t ask me yet what it’s going to be because I really don’t know.”

Martinsville Representative Ralph Foley says Indiana is not ready for a major change in drug policy, but might take a look at reducing the harsher penalties for small amounts of possession.

“We’re on the high side of penalties for small quantities,” he said, “so I question whether that was effective and whether we ought to rethink that.”

Foley says passing that sort of legislation is difficult because of the potential for being seen as “soft on crime.”

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