A bill that would have decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana is dead in the Indiana legislature after a key Senate committee chairman refused to allow a public hearing on it. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Karen Tallian (D-La Porte), says she will be back next year.
It was referred to the Senate Committee on Corrections and Criminal Law, chaired by Sen. Mike Young (R-Madison County), who said he wasn't ready to take it up.
"It's dead for this year," Young told WISH-TV before adding that he would continue to talk to Sen. Tallian about the bill "so I can work with her over the summer and learn a little bit more about this issue before we hear it."
Tallian said she was getting support for the bill and vowed to keep pushing until she gets a hearing.
"I have a lot of professional people sending me e-mails saying where are you, what can we do to help?" she said. "We will get a hearing on this bill."
But not until next year at the earliest, and that's too bad for Indiana voters. They've indicated they are ready for decriminalization. A recent WISH-TV/Ball State University Hoosier Survey had support for decriminalization at 53%, with only 41% opposed.