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Health Care: Marijuana Message Shared; Senate Majority Leader McConnell Invites Chamber to Opioid Roundtable

2017-12-08T13:57:00+00:00December 8th, 2017|

The Association of Indiana Prosecuting Attorneys held a summit this week on the Truth About Marijuana. The event and preceding press conference were conducted to provide factual data about marijuana and spotlight the information that has developed from states that have enacted legislation making marijuana legal recreationally and medicinally. The Indiana Chamber was invited to present along with Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill, a representative from SAM (Smart Approaches to Marijuana), a physician, the Boone County sheriff and the Ripley County prosecuting attorney.

The Chamber discussed the marijuana policy position recently adopted by its board of directors. We oppose the legalization of marijuana in any form for recreational use. The Chamber also opposes the legalization of botanical marijuana for medical or therapeutic use, until a time when it’s efficacy and safety have been proven consistent through clinical trials.

We also provided data that demonstrates increases in industrial accidents and injury, absenteeism and disciplinary problems due to marijuana use. The Chamber further discussed the current drug testing data from states that have legalized marijuana and its potential impact on Hoosier employers being able to hire employees that can pass a drug test.

The Chamber expects legislation to be filed for the 2018 session to legalize marijuana for medicinal and therapeutic uses. Representative Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) has stated that he will be doing so, while Rep. Chris Judy (R-Avilla) has indicated an interest in co-authoring the bill. Meanwhile, Sen. Karen Tallian (D-Portage) has filed a medicinal marijuana bill the past three sessions, but it has not garnered a hearing. This upcoming session will mark the first time a House Republican will take up the mantle. Still, the Chamber doesn’t expect the issue to gain much traction since it is unlikely for leadership to support the measure. The Chamber stands ready to weigh in on the matter when and if that’s necessary.

Chamber Invited to Regional Opioid Roundtable

The Chamber has been invited by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and our counterparts at the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce to participate in a roundtable meeting on opioids and the workforce.

This is a regional meeting with government leaders from the neighboring states of Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and West Virginia, along with key business leaders from those states, to openly discuss this issue and its effect on business and workforce, and to try to determine strategies to tackle it. It is hoped that this meeting could lead to specific policy recommendations and/or legislation at the federal level.

Resource: Mike Ripley at (317) 264-6883 or email: mripley@indianachamber.com