Letter: Medical marijuana should be legalized

To the editor:

Sen. Karen Tallian introduced Senate Bill 255, a bill legalizing medical marijuana, to the general assembly this year. I ask that all readers contact their representative in support of this bill.

Medical marijuana is currently legal in 28 states, including Washington, D.C., and positive marijuana reform surrounds Indiana in all four directions. From 2011 to 2013, Indiana had the 15th highest number of deaths from opioid abuse. States with medical marijuana have seen a 25 percent drop in overdoses due to the availability of marijuana.

Medical marijuana treats nausea, nerve pain, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, PTSD, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, Parkinson’s, anxiety, glaucoma, arthritis and several different cancers.

Under current Indiana law, possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor for a first-time offense, but one can still be incarcerated for simple possession of a flower. If a Hoosier smokes in another state, returns to Indiana, and drives their vehicle, they are “driving under the influence” under current Indiana law.

It is time for Indiana to move forward along with the rest of the country. It is time for Indiana to provide a proven, reliable medicine to its citizens and veterans in need. Please contact your state senator and tell them to support this bill.

Jonah Wilson