An Indiana bill would legalize medical marijuana in the state, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same.

Senate Bill 284 (SB284) was introduced on Jan. 8 by State Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage). 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 SB284, fees for medical marijuana cards needed to access the substance lawfully are not to exceed $100. Once accepted into the program, patients can possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and cultivate up to 12 plants for personal consumption. In addition, patients can designate an individual as their caregiver who would then be authorized to possess up to eight ounces and cultivate up to 12 plants of marijuana on their behalf.

Qualifying conditions under SB284 include AIDS, HIV, anorexia, arthritis, cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, migraine headaches, persistent muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, seizures, severe nausea and post traumatic stress disorder. The Department of Marijuana Enforcement (DOME), established by the bill, would be able classify new illnesses and disorders as treatable by medical marijuana per their discretion.

In addition, patients would qualify for medical marijuana under SB284 if they suffered from “any persistent or chronic illness or condition that, in the opinion of a physician, substantially limits the ability of a person to conduct one or more major life activities; or may cause serious harm to the patient’s safety or mental or physical health if not alleviated; if the illness or condition may be improved by the use of marijuana.”

The bill also protects the livelihood of physicians willing to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients by stating that “the medical licensing board may not take an adverse action against a physician who makes a physician recommendation in good faith under this article solely on the basis of the physician recommendation.” Medical marijuana would be authorized for further research and study by universities as well as pharmaceutical and agricultural businesses.

CONSTITUTIONALITY

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 SB284 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, SB284 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.

TAKE ACTION

In Indiana: Take the steps listed AT THIS LINK, to help support SB284.

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


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