First bill dealing with medical marijuana filed Tuesday

Marijuana from an Illinois marijuana cultivation center. (WTHR Photo/John Whalen)
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Wednesday is the first day of the 2018 Legislative Session and the first bill dealing with medical marijuana was filed Tuesday.

State Representative Jim Lucas has carefully studied the medical marijuana issue, including a well-documented trip to neighboring Illinois to take a closer look at a state where it is already legal.

So Tuesday, he officially filed his bill HB 1106.

"It basically decriminalizes for personal use medical cannabis," Lucas explained Tuesday.

The conservative Republican is quick to point out that 29 states have already approved medical marijuana.

"Of those 29 states we have seen an average of 25% decrease in opioid deaths and some states 50% decrease. So that could literally translate into saving 100's of Hoosier lives just on the opioid epidemic alone," he added.

"I was wound tighter than a banjo string. It was too much and there was no way to shut it off," Army Vet Jimmy Giordano admitted. He served in Kosovo during the Gulf War and came home with PTSD. He believes medical marijuana will be better than his current prescription.

"It's just been an alphabet soup of psych meds they tried and none of it has been a cure all and the long term effects are not good," he said.

Will you get any push back on this bill I asked Representative Lucas? "Absolutely and I look forward to that. To me that is an opportunity. It's not a challenge it's an opportunity. I have just seen too many instances of people who have been helped by this. The question is why aren't we doing it. It's not a need thing it's why aren't we doing it," he answered.

Jimmy Giordano believes it can help him.

"I do believe so and not just myself but I believe it could help a lot of vets and people in general," he said.

The legislative session starts Wednesday and a Medical Marijuana rally at the statehouse is scheduled at 12 p.m.

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