Medical Marijuana Poised to Hit America's Heartland
Which States Will Legalize Marijuana Next? Indiana, Kansas And List Of Other States Considering Medical Pot
Originally published in International Business Times
Twenty-eight states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana for patients, and that list could be growing a lot longer very soon. Several states were considering adopting medical marijuana programs of their own for patients to benefit from, including Indiana, where the House passed a bill Tuesday that would allow epileptic patients to be treated with a cannabis-based oil.
The bill passed with a whopping 98-0 vote after the Senate approved a similar measure allowing physicians to treat epileptic patients with a cannabidiol-based medicine containing less than 0.3 percent of THC, marijuana’s psychoactive ingredient, or 5 percent of CBD and no other controlled substance.
The measure's Senate and House approvals were the farthest medical marijuana initiatives have ever made it in Indiana’s congress (state leaders have been notoriously against legalizing cannabis in any capacity) despite the fact that 73 percent of the Hoosier state’s voters support medical marijuana legislation, according to a WTHR/HPI Indiana Poll. Albeit still a very restrictive program, if Gov. Eric Holcomb approves the measure, some patients will soon have access to medical marijuana.
Check out the list of other states considering medical marijuana measures below:
Kansas: The Senate Federal and State Affairs Committee in the Sunflower State had a hearing for Senate Bill 155 Monday. If the bill is accepted, then patients with an identification card suffering from a range of debilitating illnesses including cancer, HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, hepatitis C, ALS, Chron’s disease and several other chronic medical conditions that result in severe pain would have access to medical marijuana with a doctor’s prescription. Sen. Jacob LaTurner, R-Pittsburg, told local media following the meeting he was hoping to get the Senate to vote on the bill following a 10-day congressional break on March 6, after which the bill would head to the house to be voted on.
Oklahoma: Similar to neighboring state Arkansas’ medical marijuana law, Rep. Eric Proctor, D-Tulsa, introduced a bill recently that would allow people suffering from ALS, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimers, arthritis and various other medical conditions to have access to medical marijuana. Under House Bill 1877, potential business owners would have to pay a maximum $7,500 fee to apply to run a dispensary while cultivation licenses would cost up to $15,000. Oklahomans could be voting on the measure in 2018 if the bill is accepted by the Oklahoma Supreme Court.
South Carolina: A House subcommittee voted Tuesday to let a medical marijuana measure advance to the state House for a full vote. The bill would allow patients to register for a state-approved identification card, which would give them access to marijuana products as a form of treatment. Patients suffering from chronic or debilitating ailments including seizures, severe pain and muscle spasms would qualify for the identification card. The bill would also allow business owners to grow and sell medical marijuana in licensed dispensaries.
Iowa: Eighty percent of Iowans would vote for medical marijuana, according to an early February Des Moines Register/Mediacom Iowa Poll. Those voters could end up having the measure on the 2018 ballot if a new bill, which was recently given the green light by an Iowa House subcommittee Wednesday, is approved by the House. The state’s Department of Public Health would run the program, which would give people suffering from epileptic seizures, multiple sclerosis, cancer and other chronic ailments access to medical marijuana. The state already allows a low-dose marijuana oil to be used for treatment in epileptic patients. However, the program, which was launched in 2015, expires this summer.