I attended the scheduled mobile meeting for U.S. Senator Mike Braun in Plymouth on Wednesday, May 22 and I was the only constituent there. No one from his office showed up either, but found out later that there was a mix-up with an ill staffer and notifications, and I was able to meet with Misty Cosgrove the very next day. She was recovering from a cold and we maintained a little distance in the room, but I found her warm and caring.

I described my background as a retired nurse who worked at Memorial Hospital for 36 years (mostly critical care) and explained that I wanted Senator Braun to help end cannabis prohibition and help us regain legal access to safe medicine. I showed her a picture of how using a cannabis salve on an arthritic knee reduced the pain and inflammation, but also shrunk fat around the knee. We talk more about cannabis salve and how well it works for arthritis, and Senator Braun’s staff member expressed that something like that could help her mother.

I also shared with her the story of how my mother quit smoking cigarettes years ago by using cannabis. She lives in Indiana now and isn’t able to use it to help calm her dementia, and the state could actually take my mother away from us if we used it. I explained that the elderly are the fastest growing group of cannabis users and they are a large voting group, and that arresting the elderly for using cannabis, like that poor woman arrested in Disneyland for CBD, is shameful (she agreed). Discussing another example of how the enforcement of cannabis prohibition is nonsensical, humiliating, and detrimental for ordinary people, we talked about the instance where the police searched the room of a dying cancer patient. Misty shared with me that her own father used cannabis to give him comfort in his final days. Lastly, I discussed the tragic situation of little 6-year-old Charly Curtis, the Indiana child with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome who might still be here today if cannabis were legal.

We also talked about how Indiana is now growing hemp and that economy is only set to expand dramatically both here an across the country. I mentioned the problems that the industry is facing, for example those truck drivers who were arrested for hauling agricultural hemp across Idaho and their entire shipment was seized. In Indiana, it will soon be illegal to smoke hemp flower because law enforcement can’t easily tell the difference between hemp and “marijuana”, yet state legislators by and large aren’t willing to end Indiana’s prohibition of cannabis until the federal government does so first. Ending federal cannabis prohibition would put is on the path towards resolving these idiosyncrasies in which forms of cannabis, even which forms of hemp, are legal and which subject users to criminal prosecution.

Lastly, we talked about the fact that cannabis is the by and large the safer choice compared to alcohol, and I mentioned how the accident death rate dropped 10% in the first year of adult use cannabis in Nevada. She seemed very interested and we discussed the age for legal adult use sales (21, like alcohol, or 18, like cigarettes). She said she thought that medical cannabis has a better chance of being passed and I reminded her that things are not moving in Indiana like other states, and that this is why Senator Braun really need to help us nationally. She gave me her card and suggested the more the public voices their support for cannabis, the faster things will get done.

I’ve been voicing my support for years, and so have many of my peers. Now, it is in the hands of our elected officials to take the next step.