Governor of Indiana is Open to Cannabis Reform

The governor of Indiana, Gov. Holcomb, isn’t privately supporting cannabis legalization. Still, the governor states he’s on board with legislation to set up the regulatory compliance for a legal cannabis industry in Indiana. That stated, he’d only be receptive to passing the cannabis reform following the end of federal cannabis prohibition.

Gov. Eric Holcomb (R-IN) was inquired about cannabis reform during an end-of-the-year discussion with Indy Politics that was released earlier this week. Particularly, the governor was asked if he’d “object to Indiana legislators at least beginning the process of cannabis reform” of establishing a licensing schematic for legal cannabis enterprises so the state of Indiana can “flip the switch” when federal cannabis laws are revised.

“I don’t mind that at all,” the governor of Indiana stated.

It would be a one-of-a-kind legislative procedure that no other legal cannabis state has attempted, with legislators smashing out details on issues such as cannabis licensing, social equity, and taxes without a clear date for cannabis implementation that fringes on a possible future measure by U.S. Congress.

The GOP governor’s backing for the cannabis reform measure was ushered in by the Indiana Democratic party, which mounted a push for cannabis legalization and called on state legislation to enact the cannabis reform measure.

Rep. Sue Errington (D-IN) said she is working on a bill along the lines of what the governor says he’s open to. She recently hosted a town hall event to hear from constituents on the issue.

If the GOP-controlled government of Indiana fails to pass a cannabis legalization measure amidst the 2022 session, the party alliance stated Democrats are prepared to lobby on the problem, leveraging the popularity of ending cannabis prohibition among Hoosier voters.

Despite Gov.Holcomb endorsing the concept of setting the state of Indiana to legalize cannabis, he’s made it explicitly clear that it’s not his foremost priority and Gov. Holcomb will give complaisance to the national government, rejecting to pass cannabis reform until a federal policy change arrives.

‘We’re talking about [a drug] that is prohibited, and it’s just at the foundation of me—I’ve stated this, I’ve endured a couple blows—it’s to uphold and safeguard the regulations of the state of Indiana and the national government,” the governor stated. ‘I don’t get to select and determine. Even if I agreed with [ending cannabis prohibition], I couldn’t bring myself to simply look the other direction as a lot of states have done when legalizing cannabis. But just because a handful of other states have elected to reform cannabis doesn’t mean it’s the right thing to do.’

In the meantime, Gov. Holcomb stated he does want to witness more research performed on cannabis and its medicinal effects.

‘I would stimulate research, effective cannabis research, to be performed,” he stated. ‘We’ve got institutions such as Indiana University and Purdue University that are willing to participate in—an agricultural school, a medical school—to do the effective research as they would with any other illicit substance and get the feds (USDA, FDA, etc.) involved in and get tangible metrics.

The governor of Indiana similarly spoke about his inquisitiveness in exploring the medical benefits of cannabis during a separate interview with WANE-TV.

A 2018 poll found that about nearly 80 percent of Hoosiers are in support of legalizing cannabis for either medicinal or recreational intent, and nearly 80 percent agreed that low-level possession of cannabis should be decriminalized.

Counting pressure to enact cannabis reform in Indiana is the fact that adjacent states Illinois and Michigan have each legalized cannabis for recreational use,, and Ohio has a medicinal cannabis agenda. Illinois cannabis retailers have already pushed more than $1 billion worth of legal adult-use cannabis this year.

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