As many of you know, the interim committee on Public Health, Behavioral Health, and Human Services was assigned the topic of “issues related to the use of medical marijuana”, and will be holding hearings to discuss the issue in the coming months. While many details have thus far been unknown, the legislators assigned to this committee were recently announced.
The committee will be chaired by Representative Cindy Kirchhoffer (District 89), who co-authored House Resolution 2 during the 2018 session. HR 2 was the basis for the medical cannabis study assignment. “Over the next several months, we’ll have the opportunity to hear from Hoosiers, experts and other states on the pros and cons of medical cannabis,” Representative Kirchhoffer told us. “I encourage anyone passionate about this issue to follow the summer study committee process online, and even consider testifying in committee. Study committees are a great tool for the legislature to fully review issues. While the federal government has yet to recognize the use of medical cannabis, we plan to fully review the issue. There is no guarantee that legislation or policy changes will come from study committee, however this is a great chance for citizens to actively engage in the legislative process and share their thoughts on this complex topic.”
Senator Liz Brown (District 15) will be the Vice Chair of the committee. During a legislative update earlier in the year, Senator Brown offered her thoughts on the issue of medical cannabis legislation in Indiana. “I think there may be some need for it,” she explained, “but we have no idea what that is. For us to just use this term ‘medical marijuana’ like it’s an aspirin tablet and everyone knows what the dose is and what the consequence is, that’s not the case. I’d love for it to be studied and I’d love for science and medical professionals to say yep this will help those cancer patients who are suffering and can’t alleviate their pain. This will help some people with glaucoma or whatever the issues are, but right now it’s a guessing game.”
Here is a list of the remaining Public Health interim committee members:
Vaneta Becker – State Senate District 50
Jean Breaux – State Senate District 34
Ronald Grooms – State Senate District 46
Frank Mrvan – State Senate District 1
John Ruckelshaus – State Senate District 30
Mark Stoops – State Senate District 40
Steven Davisson – House District 73
David Frizzell – House District 93
Ryan Hatfield – House District 77
Robin Shackleford – House District 98
Vanessa Summers – House District 99
Davis Zent – House District 51
There will also be two lay members of the committee, Richard Feldman and Patricia Miller.
If you want to know if any of your legislators are on the committee but aren’t sure who represents you, you can find out here. Your legislators will be able to give you more details about their role in the committee process.