This has been a hell of a year for Marijuana reform, here in Indiana and across the country. Great strides towards reform have been made, and from those will spring new opportunities for reform in 2013.
Back in 2011, Indiana NORML, Relegalize Indiana, and friends presented before the Indiana Senate Crime and Sentencing Policy Committee. With the 2012 Indiana legislature, reform bills were introduced by Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage), and Representative Tom Knollman (R-Liberty), but due to the controversy surrounding the “Right to Work” issue, none survived. But the die was cast for action in 2013. We approach that now.
Meanwhile, in the Spring of 2012, forces out west were gearing up. Oregon, Washington and Colorado were presenting their voters with the possibility of reform. Arkansas, the first of the Southern states to try medical and Massachusetts were getting their paperwork together. In all, 26 states at least advanced the conversation about Cannabis. It advanced here in Indiana, too.
Indiana NORML took the message to everyone we could. We marched with Relegalize Indiana on April 20th and had booths in Muncie and at the Mousetrap in Broad Ripple. We were well represented at Indy Pride and at Occustock I near Camp Atterbury. We had a good showing at our Harvest Fest at Beals Street. We also did the Indiana State Fair, where we had far better response to our message than ever before.
Just before the election in November, we got a very pleasant surprise: A gold standard survey by Brian Howey, of Hoosier’s preferences on Marijuana showed 54% of Hoosiers want Marijuana RELEGALIZED! Not just decrim, but taxed and regulated like alcohol. Indiana is ready for Marijuana!
How do we move forward? Indiana Senator Brent Steele (R-Columbus) has promised a decrim bill that would make possession of 10 grams or less a simple infraction. Indiana Senator Karen Tallian (D-Portage) will introduce a three and a half ounce decrim bill. If these bills are to gain traction in the legislature, officials must hear from you! Go to http://district.iga.in.gov/DistrictLookup/ to find out who your Representative and Senator are. Write down this info or make a file so you can find it. Email, call and snail mail them. We will help you with automatic emailing systems to be set up soon. Other organizations will have them set up as well. Let them know that Hemp/Marijuana is good for Indiana.
An Indiana NORML can always use more money to carry on this fight. Please go to the “Donate” button on www.inorml.com and contribute. We will need to pay for printing, fees and other expenses of keeping the word of freedom in front of our people.
Keep an eye on this page, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. We’ll keep you informed on the progress.
And here’s hoping you and yours a Happy 2013! Let’s all work towards making it so.