Is Indiana marijuana the next big news? Michigan legalized recreational marijuana on November 6th – becoming the 10th state in the nation to do so. Immediately, officials in neighboring Indiana have become concerned about impaired drivers crossing state lines.

“People should know law enforcement around here is working together on how to address it.”

– Dave Wells

Commander of the St. Joseph County Drug Investigation Unit

And also, with the ability to purchase recreational so physically close, many believe that Indiana could be next up to legalize medical marijuana. According to David Phipps, communications director of the Indiana branch of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws in Indianapolis, a legalization measure would indeed pass – in the House. But Phipps believes that “It’s the Senate where we need to gain a few more votes.”

Michigan isn’t the only source of influence for Indiana marijuana reform though. Illinois as well as Ohio both already have medical marijuana programs. And Kentucky is beginning its own path toward medical too.

Tallian is Ready

Democratic Indiana Sen. Karen Tallian was elected in 2005. But she quickly was labeled the “marijuana senator,” for her push to study Indiana marijuana policy. She was responsible for reducing possession penalties for marijuana, changing it from a felony to a misdemeanor. Tallian hopes to also change possession limits and legalize up to 2 ounces.

Indiana Marijuana Push

Next steps for Tallian, is to introduce a medical marijuana bill and bill that would create a Cannabis Compliance Commission. Across the country, marijuana programs have succeeded after voters pushed them through in elections. But in Indiana, the General Assembly is the entity that must approve legal cannabis. Tallian is a strong force for cannabis proponents; but others in the state are not necessarily as gung-ho as she is, namely the governor and the attorney general.

They Did a Study on it…Or Sort of

Back in October, the Indiana legislature completed a study and heard testimony on medical marijuana. The idea behind the study was to at the end, either recommend for or against a bill to the General Assembly. But in the end, the legislature couldn’t make a decision either way. And some members believed that encouraging more study of the topic was sort of pushing toward legalization. So, discussions stopped.

Some Have Jumped on Board

Republican Rep. Jim Lucas agrees with Tallian and wants to legalize medical and possibly recreational marijuana in Indiana. Lucas researched cannabis treatments, such as CBD oil for seizure treatment, and even visited Colorado to consume some himself. He is a proponent of cannabis over prescription drugs for pain relief – for the elderly and for veterans.

Rep. Dale Devon (R) is still on the fence about legalization in Indiana. He believes that cancer patients could probably benefit from cannabis and be able to reduce chemotherapy effects. He is also open to law enforcement concerns about decriminalizing marijuana offenses.

Back to the Border Issue

Regardless of whether Indiana legalizes soon or not, the fact remains that bringing cannabis from Michigan into the state is a no-no. No one really seems to think an incredible amount of marijuana is going to make its way from Michigan into Indiana. But as mentioned above, what is of concern, is the potential for an increase in impaired drivers. The police care more about DUIs and impaired driving. It seems that only time will tell if Michigan can curb the potential problem and if then Indiana will even have anything to worry about.

Industry is Changing

If you call Pinnacle, you won’t need to worry either. We’re your cannabis consultants for every segment of the industry. Want to invest in a new burgeoning market? Want to take your business to the next level? Need branding assistance? What about cultivation guidance? Schedule a call with one of our experts or come in for a sit-down.