By Steve Elliott of Toke of the Town
The idea of legalizing marijuana is going to be studied by lawmakers in Indiana.
The General Assembly's criminal law and sentencing policy study committee plans to examine all the different angles of the marijuana issue, including legalization, reports WHAS 11.
The Hoosier legislators will also take a look at decriminalizing pot, or creating a medical marijuana program in the state.
Among the lawmakers who support the study is Republican Rep. Tom Knollman, who is battling multiple sclerosis. Knollman told lawmakers during this legislatige session that he wished he could legally try cannabis to help relieve his pain.
Knollman said at the time that although he's among the most conservative of state legislators, he hopes he can be a law-abiding citizen and "use one of God's plants."
Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) pushed for the study committee, according to the Associated Press. According to Tallian, Indiana has "draconian" marijuana laws.
"One day, I watched three young kids plead cases on possession of small amounts," Tallian said. "I thought, 'Why are we spending all of the time and money to do this?' Frankly, I put marijuana in the same category as alcohol."
Tallian said she hopes to arrange for people to speak at the meeting where marijuana study is on the agenda.
"I've got testimony from different groups," she said. "They keep calling me wondering when it's going to be. I had them lined up when the bill was in the Senate -- medical people, criminal defense attorneys, prosecutors, law enforcement. There are a wide range of people interested in this topic."
Medical marijuana has been legalized in 16 states and the District of Columbia. Thirteen states have reduced penalties for small amounts of pot for recreational use.
Article From Toke of the Town and republished with special permission.