Senate OKs Tallian’s marijuana study bill
By Jon Seidel firstname.lastname@example.org February 22, 2011 4:42PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana Senate has passed Sen. Karen Tallian’s bill requiring Indiana to study the legalization of marijuana.
The bill would require the state’s criminal law and sentencing policy study committee to spend the summer looking at marijuana’s effect on Indiana’s criminal justice system and whether possession of the drug should continue to be illegal.
It cleared the Senate in a 28-21 vote Tuesday and moves to the House of Representatives.
Tallian, a Portage Democrat, told her fellow Senators she and people who testified in favor of the bill at a hearing last week were serious about the study.
“I did not put my name on this bill by myself and risk whatever political fallout just to make a joke,” Tallian said.
A neurologist who practices in Northwest Indiana told a Senate committee last week marijuana could be helpful for patients who suffer from epilepsy, Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and other illnesses.
Tallian said her bill wouldn’t legalize marijuana. She said it’s only a study committee meant to determine if Hoosiers want to spend “millions” of dollars prosecuting marijuana crimes.
“Our society is demanding reduced government,” Tallian said.
Sen. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, said he wouldn’t oppose the study, but he said it won’t lead Indiana to legalize marijuana.
“This isn’t the beginning of the downfall of civilization as we know it,” Steele said.
Reach reporter Jon Seidel at 648-3068.