Like a lot of people in Indiana, I watched with mild curiosity as Gov. Holcomb signed a law into effect in April that legalized CBD (cannabidiol) oil, a non-psychoactive form of cannabis with a low or negligible amount of THC for use in treating epilepsy. This not only ended a seven-year debate on the issue, but also gave Indiana its very first medical marijuana law. My first thought probably matched up with a lot of people in Indiana- “it’s about time!” My second thought had something to do with how much better the outlook for the state was without Mike Pence as Governor, no idea on how much that matched the opinions of the rest of my fellow Hoosiers, but I know I was not alone in that sentiment.
Now, for the predictable part of the process. While the CBD law went into effect on July 1, Hoosiers are still swinging in the wind as to their ability to legally obtain and use the oil. While the bill set up a state registry for Hoosiers to obtain the oil, it’s simply not ready (or even exists) yet. A spokesman for the Indiana Department of Health said the department is still developing the registry, and expects it to be ready in February.
But, of course. If this bill I were writing about was about trying to hinder gas stations and supermarkets from selling alcohol, the bill would complete, even if probably half-assed, and ready to go, come hell or high water. If this was a bill that threw another log on the fire of tax and fee increases we saw in July, we would not be having this conversation. The day our state government isn’t ready to go on a tax or fee increase will be the day Bobby Knight returns to coach Indiana basketball on a volunteer basis.
This boils down to the disingenuous nature of our part-time legislature. I haven’t heard any excuses as to why this process is being delayed, not that I would even seriously take them at face value, but I can only imagine what they are.
“It’s a complicated process.” No, it actually is not. The idea that this bill is being delayed is nothing more than hubris on the part of the state legislature. It creates the impression that our elected officials in Indiana are fighting to the mat to bring CBD oil to the people of Indiana, when it was their apparent inattention to the issue once the bill was signed into law that is the real culprit.
That inattention means very little to the state legislature, however. The mostly negative attention they will receive over not being ready to go on day one will equally mean as little. And as they are sitting around, doing whatever it is they are doing, it is the same situation post-CBD bill as it was before. Patients in need of a legitimate and scientifically proven treatment will have to keep looking to places like Colorado to meet their needs.
And that’s just fine, apparently, with our state legislature. Whatever CBD oil sales they will not be receiving tax revenue from, they’ll just add or increase another tax to make up the difference. And you can rest assured that bill will be ready to go some July 1 in the future.
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