Summers: ‘Decriminalization of cannabis should be a priority’
INDIANAPOLIS – The Interim Study Committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health and Human Services met yesterday to begin studying potential health impacts of THC products, including Delta-9, as well as the possibility of decriminalizing cannabis possession. State Rep. Vanessa Summers (D-Indianapolis), a member of the committee, today offered her hopes for the study committee:
“Indiana is light-years behind our neighboring states when it comes to bolstering our economy with cannabis sales, but right now, decriminalization of cannabis should be a priority in our state. Black Hoosiers are about 3.5 times as likely as white Hoosiers to be arrested for cannabis despite the fact that usage rates are essentially equal between the two groups. Decriminalization is a civil rights issue. People should not have their lives destroyed and families should not be broken up because someone got caught with cannabis. I'm proud to say that Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears stopped prosecuting most possession of marijuana cases in the county, and that should be the model for the state. My hope is that the study committee finds a way to help future generations of Hoosiers avoid unnecessary jail time for possession of a drug 19 other states have already legalized.”
The bipartisan panel must report its findings or recommendations by Nov. 1.