Tallian files marijuana reform package, will push for decriminalization

Tallian files marijuana reform package, will push for decriminalization

INDIANAPOLIS – On Monday, State Senator Karen Tallian (D-Ogden Dunes) introduced and filed her comprehensive marijuana reform package. Sen. Tallian’s three bills aim at addressing problems in Indiana’s cannabis laws. Her first bill reverses a misstep by last session’s Senate Enrolled Act (SEA) 516, which made smokable hemp illegal. The second bill creates a regulatory agency for any cannabis-related product. The third bill decriminalizes the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

“Indiana has to address its outdated and confusing cannabis laws,” Sen. Tallian said. “This legislature has been afraid to confront the entire cannabis question and takes every opportunity to stop debate. We need to move to the next level.”

“Right now Indiana’s hemp laws are a mess,” Sen. Tallian said. “SEA 516 made hemp a legal crop in Indiana but in the same stroke also made all hemp illegal if it can be smoked. Remember, too, that ‘smokable hemp’ was already legal in Indiana from our previously enacted CBD law. A federal judge ordered our state to stop enforcing this legislation. What does my bill do? It cleans up this hemp mess.”

“My next bill fulfills the need to protect Hoosier consumers by creating a cannabis compliance commission,” Sen. Tallian said. “Indiana businesses require a license to grow hemp and process it into oil, but there’s no one in charge. CBD products should be labeled, but there is no one doing the testing for ingredients and safety. This is a consumer protection issue that Indiana must address, and my bill will do just that with the commission it creates.”

“Finally, I am introducing a bill that is a part of the Senate Democrats’ 2020 priorities,” Sen. Tallian said. “My bill decriminalizes the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. We all know the governor does not want to legalize marijuana, but there is no longer any justification for arresting people for possession. Even some prosecutors are acknowledging that. I am hopeful that decriminalization is something the whole legislature can finally get behind this year.”

The 2020 legislative session begins on January 6, 2020.

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