Lawmakers Hear Views on Indiana's Marijuana Laws
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Lawmakers Hear Views on Indiana's Marijuana Laws
Posted by CN Staff on July 29, 2011 at 05:37:12 PT
By Najib Aminy 
Indiana -- A reform of Indiana's marijuana laws, considered to be among the toughest in the nation, was supported by a majority of speakers at a hearing at the Statehouse on Thursday.Suggestions included legalizing the medical use of marijuana and reducing the state's criminal penalties for possession of small amounts of the drug. State Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Ogden Dunes, who was troubled by the amount of money and time the judicial system spends on marijuana-related cases, called for the hearing earlier this year.
"As a state legislature, we should look at our reasons for banning marijuana," Tallian said. "Are we trying to punish people or are we trying to prevent something?"In 2006, it cost the Indiana criminal justice system $148.8 million to combat marijuana, according to a study by Jon Gettman, a professor at Shepherd University in West Virginia. Gettman is a former head of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws."Prohibition only works when society can effectively control the technology of production," Gettman said in testimony before the legislature's Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee. "Marijuana prohibition has no chance of being effective when people can grow marijuana in their homes and closets."In 2010, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration seized 60,844 cultivated marijuana plants in Indiana, the 15th-highest amount that year among the states.Gettman said legalizing marijuana and taxing its use could raise about $50 million in annual revenue for the state."There is a rare consensus among economists of every political persuasion that legalization plus taxation would be such a policy that could work," said Marc Bilodeau, an associate professor of economics at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis.Indiana is considered to have some of the country's strictest laws against marijuana possession, specifically in small doses. Possession of 1 ounce of marijuana can lead to a maximum sentence of one year and a maximum fine of $5,000.And while there is discussion about changing Indiana's marijuana penalties, some lawmakers don't expect a radical shift in the law."We're on the very high side on penalties of small quantities, so I question whether that is effective and whether we ought to rethink that," said state Rep. Ralph Foley, R-Martinsville."But there's a lot of political paralysis when you use the phrase 'soft on crime.' . . . I certainly hope we can think through the issue and try to use our resources the best we can for a safe environment and to discourage the use of marijuana," Foley said.His stance is supported by groups such as Yes MAMM, which stands for Mothers Against Meth and Marijuana."We're not for legalizing marijuana, even if it's for medical reasons, because marijuana is very addictive," said Pastor Sarah Barbour, who started the Indianapolis organization five years ago. "We believe that healing comes through God and through holistic means, rather than through marijuana."But there's still hope for those who want the state to someday legalize the drug.Indianapolis resident Jordan Wier, 25, who sat outside the hearing due to a lack of room and watched the testimony on TV, says the time for reform is now.Wier watched his father use marijuana to help him deal with the pain from a devastating disease."He was dying of pancreatic cancer, and they still put him in jail," Wier said of his father. "It helped him through his last days and through the pains and struggles of his cancer, and I feel we have a good chance to finally change this law around."Source: (IN)Author: Najib Aminy Published: July 29, 2011Copyright: 2011 IndyStar.comWebsite: najib.aminy URL: -- Cannabis Archives 
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Comment #4 posted by FoM on July 29, 2011 at 12:08:46 PT
I understand.
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Comment #3 posted by Vincent on July 29, 2011 at 11:15:36 PT:
"We're not for legalizing marijuana, even if it's for medical reasons, because marijuana is very addictive. We believe that healing comes through God and through holistic means, rather than through marijuana".Now you see why I call them Bible-bangers and why I can't stand them! By the way, these people also don't believe in Dinosaurs, despite the fossils that are in display in every museum in the world. When Karl Marx (peace be upon him) said that "organized religion is the opiate of the people", he was definitely on to something!
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Comment #2 posted by Hope on July 29, 2011 at 10:58:12 PT
 "...healing comes through God..."
"We believe that healing comes through God and through holistic means, rather than through marijuana."That's a strange thing to say. Why can't God use any of His means to heal? Where does Pastor Barbour get the idea she should be in the business of tying God's hands and limiting His powers, gifts, medicines, and methods? So, since she personally believes that God didn't create cannabis for mankind, even though it says He did on the first page of the book of Genesis, and that she apparently believes some other unloving being, other than her God, actually created it, she thinks it's wrong to make cannabis legal for others, and she believes and "Preaches" that we, as a people, and the government, should continue the arrest and prosecution of those people that think differently than she. People, God's children, that actually appreciate God's gift of the herb, and, in my opinion that actually think more correctly than she. I think that's really wrong... and vicious... and terribly arrogant of her.
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Comment #1 posted by Sinsemilla Jones on July 29, 2011 at 06:27:43 PT
Mothers Against Meth and Marijuana?
Is there a Fathers Against Oxycodone and Coffee?Indiana, proving that a state doesn't have to be in the south to be backwards.
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