The Indiana chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws or NORML wants legalized medical marijuana to become a substitute for opioids in pain treatment. The group has been hosting a series of town hall style meetings across the state to educate the public about the benefits of legalized medical cannabis, in the midst of a stronger push for legalization.
Indiana University at South Bend Professor Thomas Clark presented his research to the more than 100 people who attended the 3-hour long town hall. He said while his studies have shown multiple benefits of marijuana as treatment for chronic pain, there are also negatives that should not be ignored.
“There’s negative outcomes when you exercise too much, there’s negative outcomes when you drink too much water,” Clark said.
Republican State Representative Jim Lucas was among the advocates for medical marijuana, which includes NORML members and researchers.
Lucas, who calls himself as one of the most conservative Republicans in the state house, said the issue of medical marijuana is not a left or right issue, but a human rights issue.
“I find it completely reprehensible that we are denying people something that has been proven to help others out,” Lucas said, “You know, all across the board we’re discovering the benefits of medical cannabis and as an elected lawmaker, I have an obligation to see this through and the fact that I personally believe in it, I’m going to push this.”
Lucas said he plans to work together with other lawmakers in the upcoming session to sponsor a bill that would decriminalize medical marijuana for Hoosiers.