Senate Democrats want to limit arrests for weed possession in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Two state lawmakers championed their weed-related bills that they hope become law Thursday at the Indiana Statehouse.

Those two bills from Senate Democrats, are centered around the possession of small amounts of weed.

Alicia Tucker lives with a disease called ulcerative colitis. The chronic disorder affects the digestive system.

“If I were not to have weed or cannabis, as I like to call it, it would cause me to have extreme discomfort and affect my life in a very negative way,” said Tucker, who supports legalizing weed in Indiana.

As a traveling musician, Tucker uses weed only when she’s in states where it is legal, like Illinois, Michigan, California and Oregon.

“I personally don’t feel the ‘refer madness’ the stigma so-to-speak of being high,” Tucker said. “I just notice that I don’t feel pain.”

Thursday, Senate Democrats championed two weed-related bills. They’ve tried for years to get weed bills passed.

State Senator Karen Tallian’s bill would lower the penalty for the possession of less than an ounce of weed.

“It’s all about no more jail time and no more criminal records for possession of small amounts of weed,” said State Sen. Karen Tallian, (D-Ogden Dunes).

State Senator Greg Taylor’s bill would create a defense for possession of less than two ounces of weed, if the individual has a valid out-of-state medical weed card.

“The bottom line is that sending people to jail with a valid medical weed prescription is bad,” said State Sen. Greg Taylor, (D-Indianapolis).

Late last year, Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears said his office will no longer prosecute adults on possession cases of less than one ounce of weed when that charge is the only or the most serious charge.

Republican State Senator Mike Young’a bill would give the Attorney General the power to prosecute certain crimes if the prosecuting attorney doesn’t.

“With the amendment, the Attorney General will have the opportunity to appoint a special prosecutor. All we want to do is make sure the laws are protected and that citizens are protected,” said State Sen. Mike Young, (R-Indianapolis).

Sen. Young chairs the Corrections and Criminal Law committee that would hear the Democrats’ two weed bills. News 8 asked if the bills will get a hearing.

“I can’t,” Sen. Young said. “Unless I take off somebody else’s bill. The only thing I can do is put them on the end, and we’re probably going to have one or two bills die anyway. What good would it do if I put them on the schedule? They waited too late and they knew it.”

Supporters like Alicia Tucker believe the Democrats’ bills are a step in the right direction.

“I for one believe that like lavender, or sage or any other herb that grows from the Earth, I believe it should be legal,” she said.

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Author: David Williams

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