Marijuana legalization has become a very bipartisan issue with support coming from both sides of the aisle. The state of Indiana has traditionally leaned more to the right and a republican representative, Jim Lucas, is now pushing hard for medical marijuana legalization. Indiana prosecutors are deeply against the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes and made their beliefs known through a letter to Governor Eric Holcomb.
Representative Jim Lucas is alarmed that his state seems to be have been left behind by the medical marijuana movement and feels like people are ignoring the obvious benefits of legalized medical marijuana. Are you “pissed off,” like Jim Lucas is, that people seem to be purposefully blind about the benefits of medical marijuana?
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s county prosecutors remain vehemently opposed to any form of marijuana legalization and insist the plant “is not medicine” amid a push by a conservative state lawmaker to have it recognized as such.
The Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys argues any type of marijuana legalization would come with grave consequences in a letter sent to Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s administration. The letter, dated last week, was publicly released Monday.
“Reports abound of efforts to legalize marijuana in the state of Indiana,” wrote David N. Powell, the association’s executive secretary. “We respectfully ask the (administration) to formally oppose the legalization of marijuana in any form, for any purpose.”
It comes as state Rep. Jim Lucas — a media-savvy politician better known for his outspoken opposition to gun restrictions — says he will “100 percent full-throttle” pursue medical marijuana legislation.
The libertarian-leaning lawmaker from Seymour faces long odds during the session beginning in January, but the fact that a Republican is so vocally pushing the measure marks a significant change.
Reached Tuesday for comment on the prosecutors’ letter, Lucas said: “The gloves are off.” Holcomb’s office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Although federal law still considers marijuana illegal, more than half of U.S. states, including some conservative ones, have legalized medical marijuana for the treatment of certain conditions.
“This is what pisses me off: we got 29 states that are ahead of us that have shown the benefits,” Lucas said. “Can it be abused? Sure, anything can be abused. But since we know this can save lives, why do we want to continue to risk the quality of life, or the wellbeing of innocent people, just because some might go out there and abuse it?”
He suggested medical marijuana could provide an alternative to addictive painkillers.
The prosecutors association disagrees. They also say those who argue that marijuana can be used as medicine are relying on “half-truths and anecdotal evidence.” But that’s at odds with scientific studies that have found marijuana can treat chronic pain and ease nausea from chemotherapy, among other medical issues.