The growing trend of marijuana support has reached legislators in Indiana, but one person that has not jumped on the marijuana approval bandwagon is Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb.
Certain legislators in the state have verbalized the intent to introduce bills that involve marijuana legalization of some degree — either for medical use or recreational use. However, Gov. Holcomb has stated that he is not willing to ignore the fact that federal law still identifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug and is thereby illegal.
Gov. Holcomb has noted the potential benefits of marijuana for medical treatment, but he feels additional study needs to be completed by the federal government before he’ll commit to supporting legislation of any kind.
Gov. Holcomb also noted that his state is in a position to continue to delay marijuana legalization, since they are not facing some of the revenue deficits that other areas have struggled with and hope to see marijuana revenue fill.
Legislators hope to succeed in passing legislation, however, as they see marijuana as comparable to alcohol, which is permitted for use in a responsible manner by those who are old enough.
Gov. Holcomb has also shared his view that marijuana is a gateway drug, which could be the catalyst some casual users need to find their way to harder illegal drugs.
However, Gov. Holcomb also signed a bill in March that approved the sale and use of cannabidiol (CBD), which is derived from marijuana but contains very small amounts of THC, which is the compound that causes the high for marijuana users.
The bill, Senate Bill 214, was authored by Senators James Tomes, Blake Doriot, Michael Young, and Ed Charbonneau. It clearly outlines that CBD has less than .03% THC and that the products will contain only 5% CBD.
It also outlines specific guidelines for patients and physicians in regard to those permitted to use these products, as compared to use by the general public.
The signing indicates there may be some flexibility to Gov. Holcomb’s views, and given the fact the U.S. Surgeon General is supporting further research on the efficacy of marijuana for medical use, the measure may not be as far in Indiana’s future as Gov. Holcomb’s statements indicate.