Indiana, notorious for having one of the strictest cannabis policies in the nation (the penalty for even a small amount of cannabis is punishable by up to a year of incarceration or a $5,000 fine – OUCH), is now facing a refreshing potential change of policy. Indiana Senate Bill 284 would legalize the production of hemp and cannabis by local Indiana farmers and create a medical marijuana system, as well as “DOME – the Department of Marijuana Enforcement.”
The bill, introduced by Senator Karen Tallian, is impressively comprehensive and also includes stipulations for future research development to be overseen by DOME into the benefits of marijuana for medicinal purposes.
Despite Indiana’s harsh stance on cannabis use, according to a 2013 survey by the Bowen Center, more than 50% of Hoosiers support decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of cannabis, with that percentage rising to an astonishing 78% when asked if Indiana should tax the sale of cannabis like cigarettes, with universal support from both political parties.
This bill could prove to be a tipping point for Indiana’s cannabis policy, and the revenue for farmers could make for a new up-and-coming cash crop. Cross your fingers for Indiana!
Image credit: freestock.ca