Legalizing Medical Marijuana Has Hoosier Republicans On Opposite Sides
INDIANAPOLIS -- While one Republican State Representative says he plans to introduce a bill during this legislative session to legalize medical marijuana, another Republican serving in the Indiana Senate says he disagrees with it.
State Rep. Jim Lucas of Seymour introduced a bill in 2018 to legalize marijuana for medicine, but the bill didn't get a hearing. He says he will bring that bill back this year.
"The benefits of this drug, this plant are countless," says Rep. Lucas, who even visited Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal, in order to do more personal research.
"The more I learned, the more I became convinced that this was the right thing to do for Indiana," says Rep. Lucas.
"We have the opportunity to draw from what is working in the 33 other states that have had the courage to take on medical cannabis and develop legislation that is right for Indiana," according to Lucas.
However, Republican State Senator Andy Zay of Huntington says he disagrees with Lucas.
"There's a culture out there in relationship to relieving all our pain in society that we need to medicate everything. To say marijuana is the answer to that is not right," Sen. Zay told 93 WIBC's Tony Katz.
"At what point do we respect the integrity of our government role? It's not legal by the federal government. Why should be passing a law where we are essentially turning a blind eye to what [the federal government is] doing," says Sen. Zay.
According to a survey done by Ball State University in Nov. 2018, 39 percent of Hoosiers said marijuana should be legal for personal use, while 42 percent said it should be legal, but only for use as medicine. Only 16 percent of Hoosiers said marijuana should still be illegal.
Photo: Getty Images / Steve Russell