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State lawmakers meeting Tuesday to learn more about benefits of cannabis

Advocates for legalization believe that fully legalizing marijuana and cannabis will give Hoosiers another medical choice, as well as those who farm and grow it.

INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana could be one step closer to making marijuana legal in the Hoosier state, following a new study that happened over the summer.

That study will be presented Tuesday to state lawmakers by a Public Health Summer Study Committee at the Indiana Statehouse beginning at noon. The committee has been looking into the potential health benefits, decriminalization and consequences of Delta-8, Delta-9 and other THC products over the last few months.

Delta-8 comes from the hemp plant and is legal at the federal level. It's said to give a weaker high, while Delta-9 comes from marijuana.

Advocates for legalization believe that fully legalizing marijuana and cannabis will give Hoosiers another medical choice, as well as those who farm and grow it.

"If we want to have a cannabis market here that is owned by Hoosiers and the money stays in the state, it's time for Indiana to start laying that infrastructure out so farmers and small businesses have an understanding of the market," said Justin Swanson, with Grow Indiana. "That way, they can start preparing their business model to really leverage their expertise and start applying it to the cannabis space."

Jason Straw, an air force veteran, told WTHR he had to move to Michigan, where marijuana and cannabis is fully legal, to get the medical help he needed.

"I reversed my Stage 2 chronic kidney disease through diet cannabis and getting off the medications. The medications were injuring my kidneys," Straw said. "So for me, it was a matter of life and death and quality of life. The VA told me that they had no treatment to treat my migraines that were effective."

Right now, Michigan and Illinois are the two surrounding states that have fully legalized marijuana. Ohio has mixed legal laws.

WTHR also spoke with the Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys Council, which said they are opposed to making marijuana and cannabis legal here in Indiana and will also be at the statehouse Tuesday pleading their side to lawmakers.

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