Where issue of legal marijuana stands in Indiana on ‘Weed Day’

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (April 20, 2016) - April 20 is also commonly called ‘National Weed Day.”

The day is notable this year because 24 states have approved marijuana use in some form. However, Indiana remains one of the hold outs.

But one local attorney said some groups are working to bring at least medical marijuana to Indiana.

“We are a conservative state, and I do think around the country we are starting to see more states even with conservative backgrounds start to move towards legalization,” said Indianapolis attorney Chris Eskew.

This week, Pennsylvania became the most recent state to legalize medical marijuana for conditions like HIV and Parkinson’s.

In November, Illinois opened the first medical dispensaries. Nearly one-third of approved patients are between 51- and 60-years-old.

Recreational use is legal in Alaska, Oregon, Colorado, Washington and Washington, D.C.

In all, the industry earned $5.7 billion in sales last year.

Proponents say it created thousands of jobs and taxes help fund schools and police departments. They also say allowing legal marijuana lessens jail overcrowding and allows police to focus on more serious crimes.

However opponents say legalized marijuana is harmful the public and call it the new ‘big tobacco.’ They also say illegal drug traffickers continue to operate even in states where marijuana is legal.