INDIANAPOLIS — The fight over marijuana legalization in Indiana will continue in 2020.
Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, filed three bills that involve the state’s marijuana and hemp laws.
One of Tallian’s bills decriminalizes the possession of less than one ounce of marijuana. This is one of the Senate Democrats’ 2020 priorities, along with redistricting reform and gun legislation.
“We all know the governor does not want to legalize marijuana, but there is no longer any justification for arresting people for possession,” Tallian said. “Even some prosecutors are acknowledging that. I am hopeful that decriminalization is something the whole legislature can finally get behind this year.”
Tallian is referencing Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears’ decision to stop prosecuting marijuana possession charges of less than one ounce. Since Sept. 30, the county has dismissed more than 325 cases.
Despite Tallian’s push, there will likely be no changes to the state’s laws regarding marijuana.
Tallian also filed a bill to create a cannabis compliance commission, which would create oversight for testing CBD ingredients and safety.
“This is a consumer protection issue that Indiana must address, and my bill will do just that with the commission it creates,” Tallian said.
Lastly, Tallian also filed a bill to “reverse a misstep” on a bill passed last year, which made smokable hemp illegal in Indiana, but it conflicted with another previously passed bill.
A federal judge has halted the ban from going into effect in Indiana.
Tallian is also running for Indiana attorney general.
“Indiana has to address its outdated and confusing cannabis laws,” Tallian said. “This legislature has been afraid to confront the entire cannabis question and takes every opportunity to stop debate. We need to move to the next level.”