House passes resolution to study topic of medical marijuana in Indiana

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.– The Indiana House unanimously voted Thursday to study the topic of medical marijuana before next year’s legislative session.

The House passed the resolution 94-0. Since it’s not a bill, it does not need to be passed by the Senate. It will be assigned to a committee this summer if three of the four legislative leaders agree medical marijuana should be studied.

Majority Floor Leader Rep. Matt Lehman sponsored the resolution. He still has misgiving about medical marijuana, but noted 29 other states allow it.

“Hoosiers rightfully want to know what direction Indiana will take,” Lehman previously said in a statement. “I believe it is wise of policymakers to carefully gather public and professional input.”

House Speaker Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, opposes legalization but is willing to study the issue.

“I think we need to take a look at the effects,” he said. “And I support a study.”

Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, has pushed for legislation to legalize medical marijuana. That’s a non-starter, with Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb and an influential prosecutors association — among others — opposed to the idea.

“We’re not there in this state,” Holcomb said in November. “And at this time right now I’m trying to get drugs off the street, not add more into the mix, and so I’m just not supportive of that.”

When he introduced the legislation, Rep. Lucas said he “will not stop until Indiana becomes a medical cannabis sate.”

Supporters say researching the topic is essential in order to determine the medical value of marijuana, which has been stymied because it is categorized as a Schedule I drug. Such drugs are considered dangerous with a “high potential for abuse,” according to the Drug Enforcement Administration.