That’s probably a question you ask yourself every year, but as 2021 rode off into the sunset, it seemed like there were a lot of reasons to be optimistic about 2022. Will those reasons add up to medical marijuana this year, or are they just mirages as we try to make our way through the desert of cannabis prohibition?
Lots of Reasons to Be Optimistic About 2022
Getting medical marijuana to the Hoosier State might seem like a pipe dream at times, but 2022 has started off with a lot of hope. Lawmakers introduced thirteen different marijuana reform bills at the beginning of the legislative session, including bills written by Democrats and Republicans.
That bipartisan support is a big deal, because Republicans have traditionally been the biggest roadblock to legalization efforts. Democrats, on the other hand, have not been shy about their support for change. In fact, as 2021 ended and 2022 began, state Democrats promised to make marijuana reform a “hallmark issue” in the 2022 state and midterm elections if a bill isn’t passed out of the legislature this year.
Converting GOP lawmakers to legalization supporters is key to marijuana reform. The support shown by lawmakers who introduced legalization bills is a big deal, signaling a tide change among state Republicans and hinting at a bright future for medical marijuana here. The question remains: Will that bright future arrive in 2022? Well, let’s put it this way…
Lots of Reasons to Be Optimistic About 2023
Hope isn’t entirely dead for medical marijuana in Indiana in 2022, but it doesn’t look great. All thirteen of the marijuana bills introduced in the legislature have been stuck in committee. It’s possible some of them could come to a vote this year, but it’s highly unlikely. As Indianapolis ABC affiliate WRTV put it, the bills “went up in smoke.”
The problem is that attitudes toward marijuana have begun to change among GOP lawmakers, but we can see from the bills introduced by Republicans that those attitudes aren’t changing very quickly. The Republican-led committees decided not to vote on those bills.
Despite the fact that 2022 doesn’t look like our year, there are a lot of reasons to be optimistic about the future. It seems inevitable medical marijuana will come to Indiana.
Fact: Hoosiers Want Medical Marijuana
Politicians can’t resist change for long when the people demand it, and the people of Indiana are clearly demanding medical marijuana.
In fact, almost 75% of Hoosiers support medical marijuana. That lags behind the 91% of all Americans who support legalizing cannabis for medical reasons, but it’s still an overwhelming number that state Republicans can’t afford to ignore much longer. As we’ve already said, Republican attitudes are beginning to change. And if we look around the country, we can see it’s a part of larger patterns, as GOP politicians are starting to relaize they’re out of steps with modern times.
Fact: (Some) Republicans Are Getting Behind Medical Marijuana
Jill Swing of the medical marijuana advocacy group, South Carolina Compassionate Care Alliance, told CBS affiliate WBTW that national public opinion has shifted in favor of legalizing medical cannabis, for “The greatest increase in support has been Republicans who support it.”
Republican lawmakers once worried about losing conservative support by championing medical marijuana have now “been touted as heroes by stepping out and supporting medical cannabis legislation,” Swing said.
And Indiana appears to be maintaining that trend towards bipartisan support for medical marijuana. It’s true that all thirteen bills that would have loosened marijuana restrictions died in Republican-controlled committees who refuse to grant the bills a hearing, but those bills were authored by both Democrats and Republicans.
As the public turns against their outdated support for prohibition and their colleagues start jumping ship, GOP holdouts who oppose medical marijuana will have no choice but to get with the times or get a new job.
Fact: Voters and Fellow Republicans Demanding Change Leads to Progress
As we look around the country, we see a pattern.
Consider Mississippi, which, like Indiana, has Republicans in charge of all three branches of state government.
Those Republicans were unresponsive to voter demands for medical marijuana, but the people struck out on their own and overwhelmingly passed an initiative to create a medical marijuana market there.
That initiative was overturned by the state Supreme Court, leading to intense voter backlash. The previously staunchly anti-cannabis, GOP-led legislature spent much of last year negotiating a medical marijuana bill. And just weeks ago, their anti-cannabis, GOP governor “begrudgingly” signed that bill into law.
And why did he sign a bill into law when he said he didn’t support that bill and he thought it would lead to increased drug abuse? He explained he is “committed to supporting the will of the people.”
All politicians are when it becomes clear their jobs are in jeopardy.
Fact: You Can Start Getting Ready Right Now for Medical Marijuana’s Arrival in Indiana
You have to wait for Indiana’s lawmakers to figure out that their job security may depend on their support for medical marijuana, but you don’t have to wait to start your journey to relief!
Reserve an evaluation online today, and we’ll book an appointment for you with one of our qualified, compassionate doctors as soon as Indiana’s medical marijuana market is up and running.
You and your new doctor will discuss your conditions and if you qualify for an Indiana Marijuana Card, as well as what medical marijuana can do for you. And you’ll even save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!
Doctors Who Care.
Relief You Can Trust.
We’re dedicated to helping all people safely and conveniently find relief and wellness through access to medical marijuana. By focusing on education and inclusion, we hope to reduce the stigma surrounding cannabis and those who want to use it to enhance their health.
If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-7755, or simply reserve a medical marijuana evaluation today!