A pair of bills that would allow certain patients to use low-THC cannabis are winding their way through the Indiana Legislature. One of the bills is markedly stronger than the other.
SB 15 would allow patients suffering from intractable epilepsy to administer low-THC, CBD-rich medical cannabis with their doctor’s authorization. The bill would create a registry program and permit pharmacists to dispense the oil. It has passed the Senate and is now in the House Committee on Courts and the Criminal Code.
The other bill, HB 1148, provides an affirmative defense for patients, and their caregivers, who suffer from Dravet or Lennox-Gastaut syndromes for low-THC cannabis oil. This means a patient would still be subject to arrest for use of the oil, and would simply have a defense once in court. The House passed that bill unanimously last week and it is now pending in the Senate. While MPP is not opposed to HB 1148, SB 15 is clearly the better proposal since it protects more patients, provides stronger legal protections, and includes more patients with seizures.
While neither bill is the comprehensive reform Hoosiers deserve — and overwhelmingly support — it is clear that lawmakers are listening on this important issue. Please ask your representative to stand up for compassion.
Is Gov. Mark Dayton – thankfully – softening his irrational opposition to medical marijuana? It appears as though that might be the case. Yesterday, ECM reported that Gov. Dayton will allow staff to work with patients and advocates on the issue of medical marijuana. He even expressed interest in researching the issue himself. While we still “don’t know where he stands,” according to Heather Azzi, political director for Minnesotans for Compassionate Care, with your help, we can educate the governor’s staff and demonstrate just how ridiculous law enforcement’s “blanket opposition” to medical marijuana really is.
Twenty states and Washington, D.C. all have workable medical marijuana laws protecting seriously ill patients from arrest and prosecution for using medical marijuana with a physician’s recommendation. Why should Minnesotans suffering from cancer, HIV/AIDS, Dravet syndrome, PTSD, ALS, MS, and other enumerated conditions be forced to break the law in order to have a better quality of life? Ask the governor to listen to patients and providers and be skeptical of the “chicken little” opposition with which certain members of law enforcement provide him.