History of CBD and Cannabis In Indiana
Currently, cannabis is completely illegal for any purpose in Indiana. Even carrying small amounts of cannabis can incur a misdemeanor penalty, which will result in jail time, a hefty fine, and a criminal record.
Over the years, many advocacy groups, legislative committees, and concerned residents have attempted to shift Indiana’s policy away from cannabis criminalization. However, health agencies, law enforcement, and local politicians remain largely opposed to decriminalization or legalization efforts.
There have been a number of different failures over the years, which has led some to ask: if the residents are so supportive of cannabis policy, why are government officials so opposed? Much of the current legal landscape owes itself to landmark decisions made in the twentieth century.
Cannabis, CBD, and Indiana
In 1913, Indiana became one of the first states to ban the sale of marijuana without a valid prescription. At the time, political officials were worried about the negative effects cannabis may have on the general public. Marijuana was seen as a growing social problem that broke up the family units and promoted violence.
Penalties only became more harsh as the decades wore on. By the time the War on Drugs hit in the seventies, enforcement of cannabis law was at an all time high.
At the turn of the century, research conducted secretly during the eighties and nineties started to be publicized. Several high profile documentaries showed that cannabis products could have a positive effect on the user’s mental, physical, and emotional health.
By February of 2013, an Indiana bill sought to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana; however, it was stamped out in committee due to the extreme opposition a few key legislative members had.
This resulted in a compromise bill, which sought to decrease penalties on marijuana while increasing some drug charges to felonies.
Ultimately, the standstill status of the state legislature has led to municipal efforts to overturn harsh cannabis policies. Marion county decriminalized possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or less, which has prompted other surrounding municipalities to explore cannabis resolutions.
After these series of failures, the only bright moments of success occurred when CBD was formally legalized for epilepsy and general use. In 2017, Governor Holcomb signed legislation that allowed CBD to be used for uncontrollable seizures. Just a year later, CBD became legal for any purpose without any additional requirements for testing or labelling.
Indiana’s current policy towards CBD has raised many valid criticisms. Since the CBD market is so new, some vendors attempt to cut their products with unsafe or untested ingredients. Local experts argue that it’s the government’s responsibility to allow yet regulate consumer access to CBD treatments.