December 26, 2018

Medical Marijuana Debate Looms In 2019 Session

Original story from   IPBS-RJC

Article origination IPBS-RJC
Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) says there's hypocrisy in the Indiana Chamber's position on medical marijuana. - Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) says there's hypocrisy in the Indiana Chamber's position on medical marijuana.

Lauren Chapman/IPB News

Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) says breaking through the “stigma and fear-mongering” of medical marijuana will help lawmakers legalize it in 2019.

That’s as groups like the Indiana Chamber of Commerce join law enforcement to oppose such a move.

The Indiana Chamber’s opposition to any kind of marijuana legalization isn’t new. But a majority of states have now decriminalized the drug in some form, including two of Indiana’s neighbors. And Chamber President Kevin Brinegar made his organization’s resistance part of its 2019 legislative agenda.

“The Food and Drug Administration has not approved marijuana for any valid medical purpose,” Brinegar says.

Brinegar says legalized medical marijuana leads to decreased worker productivity and safety concerns.

But Lucas says that argument doesn’t hold up.

“We’re perfectly OK with somebody getting off of work and running by the liquor store and picking up a case of beer or a bottle of whiskey or something and doing that responsibly on their time,” Lucas says.

Legislative leaders say the issue will be debated in the 2019 session.

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