October 19, 2018

Medical Marijuana Considered By Committee

Article origination IPBS-RJC
The Indiana House chamber was full for testimony on medical cannabis. - Jill Sheridan/IPB News

The Indiana House chamber was full for testimony on medical cannabis.

Jill Sheridan/IPB News

For the first time, Hoosier lawmakers considered medical marijuana in a study committee. The committee heard several hours of testimony at the Statehouse.

Physicians were among those testifying both for and against medical marijuana. Dr. Andrew Greenspan says many of the cancer patients he treats question why Hoosiers don’t have access to medical marijuana.

"Thirty-one states including our neighbors in Illinois and Michigan have medical cannabis laws based on hundreds of physician supported clinical trials," says Greenspan. 

A number of physicians testified that cannabis is a better for chronic pain than opioids. But psychiatrist Ed Gogek says that’s not what he’s experienced. 

"I want to make it very clear, marijuana does not help opioid addicts," says Gogek. 

Much research has been done outside of the U.S. because of federal restrictions. Many of the studies point to cannabis as a safe and effective treatment for numerous conditions. 

Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) has proposed cannabis related legislation for years and says it’s time for Indiana to catch up. 

"We need to create in Indiana, a regulatory agency for cannabis and we need to do it now," says Tallian. 

Last session Indiana lawmakers approved the use of CBD.  

Others that spoke against the issue include the Indiana Prosecutors, the Chamber of Commerce and drug-free groups. 

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