A second bill has been introduced in Indiana that would legalize medical marijuana in the state, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same.

House Bill 1487 (HB1487), introduced by Rep. Sue Errington, would permit a qualifying patient to use medical cannabis under certain circumstances, while providing immunity for physicians who recommend its use to patients.

The bill sets up a state regulatory regime that would allow medical marijuana to make its way into the hands of the sick, something that unconstitutional federal law says is illegal.

Under HB1487, the state department of health would adopt rules by July 1, 2016, concerning the use, distribution, cultivation, production, and testing of medical marijuana.

Qualifying conditions under HB1487 include:

cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, nail-patella, multiple sclerosis, injury or disease to the spinal cord/spinal column/vertebra, myelomalacia, celiac disease, sickle cell anemia, a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or the treatment for a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that produces:cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe or chronic nausea, seizures, including seizures that are characteristic, epilepsy, severe or persistent muscle spasms or any other disease, condition, or symptom that the state department to be a debilitating medical condition.

The bill also protects the livelihood of physicians willing to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients by stating that “a physician is immune from civil and criminal liability for advising a qualifying patient about the risks and benefits of the medical use of cannabis or providing a qualifying patient with a written recommendation based upon a full assessment of the qualifying patient’s medical history and condition.

However, bill also states this immunity does not apply to a physician who commits “gross negligence or engages in willful or wanton misconduct.”

The bill has been referred to the Rules and Legislative Procedures Committee.

A similar bill has been filed in the state senate, Senate Bill 284 (SB284).


The federal government currently lists marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic and attempts to prohibit it for any purpose. Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey says this clearly violates the Constitution.

“The Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to prohibit marijuana in the states. This power remains with the state governments and the people. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. There is no fundamental difference,” Maharrey said.

As more states take marijuana policy into their own hands, defying the federal prohibition, the federal government has become increasingly incapable of enforcing its unconstitutional prohibition. They simply lack the resources to stop the tidal wave. For those concerned about the health care and personal choices of people living in Indiana, this cannot come too soon.

“The last time half the states took action to nullify the federal government was in response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850,” said Maharrey. “This is historic, and it can continue with the passage of HB1487 in Indiana during this year’s legislative session.”

Medical marijuana is an incredibly important issue pertaining to nullification and states’ rights. Because it is so overwhelmingly popular, medical marijuana can act as a metaphorical ‘gateway drug’ to the idea of state and local resistance to onerous federal laws. With this issue, it is possible to show the residents of your state that local control better serves the needs of the people than the top-down federal approach that has failed for so many decades.

Although it draws a legal distinction between recreational and medical marijuana, HB1487 marks an enormous step in the right direction for both medical marijuana supporters and advocates of decentralized government in the state of Indiana. It signals that the public is ready to throw off the shackles of ‘federal supremacy’ and take lawmaking into their own hands.


In Indiana: Take the steps listed AT THIS LINK, to help support HB1487.

In Other States: Contact your state legislators and politely demand that they introduce bills legalizing medical or recreational cannabis. Start here.

TJ Martinell

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