State Senator Hopes The Fifth Time Is The Charm For Changing Pot Laws

Jan 4, 2016

It's the fifth time Karen Tallian has tried to rewrite the state's marijuana laws. The first four tries did not receive hearings.
Credit Gretchen Frazee / indianapublicmedia.org/news

For at least the fifth time, State Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) says she plans to introduce legislation that would reduce the penalty for marijuana use.

Three times a Tallian-authored bill that would have completely decriminalized marijuana use failed to clear the Senate.

This year marks the second time she’s written a law making the drug usable only for medicinal purposes.

Tallian says she’s open to discussing the specifics of what types of marijuana use should be legal and how such changes would affect Indiana’s judicial system – but she criticizes the Republican majority in the legislature for shutting the door on those types of talks before they can happen.

"The bill sets down some suggested conditions. I put in the ones that I know about. If the bill would ever get a hearing, we might have a discussion about whether some of those should be in or out."

A bipartisan study committee has recommended using hemp oil – a derivative of the same plant that produces marijuana – to be used in clinical trials as a treatment for childhood epilepsy.