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Marijuana advocates cautiously optimistic about cannabis infrastructure bill

Rep. Sue Errington's bill wouldn't legalize or decriminalize pot, but it would create a commission for possible legalization in the future.

INDIANAPOLIS — Marijuana advocates are hopeful a cannabis infrastructure bill will have a chance during the 2022 legislative session.

Rep. Sue Errington, D-Muncie, is working on the bill. She filed a similar one last year.

She allowed 13News to review the 19-page preliminary draft, which would create a new Cannabis Compliance Commission with the power to regulate industrial hemp and CBD, which are currently legal.

The commission would also issue recommendations for how lawmakers could expand legalizing marijuana in the future, as well as allow for research.

Errington's bill does not decriminalize marijuana usage. It also does not legalize medical or recreational marijuana, though she has filed bills that go that far in the past.

"I felt maybe we are trying to bite off too big a chunk at once,” Errington said.

RELATED: Should Indiana legalize marijuana? Holcomb says federal government should decide first

Errington filed a similar bill last year with a companion bill sponsored by retired Sen. Karen Tallian. Over the phone, the longtime supporter of the issue said she thought a marijuana infrastructure bill could possibly have a shot this session.

Right now, Errington is hoping her bill will get bipartisan support and a companion bill in the State Senate.

"I would love a Republican co-author on my bill,” she said.

Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, said he's supportive of the bill. 13News reported in November Lucas is working on both medical and recreational marijuana bills.

RELATED: Indiana Democrats pushing to legalize marijuana

However, it’s unclear if Republican leaders would support Errington’s bill.

Gov. Eric Holcomb is still against legalizing marijuana while it’s still labeled a Schedule 1 drug. However, he did give signs he’d support a bill that will help put in place an infrastructure on how to regulate pot if the federal government moves to make weed legal.

    

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