Lucas: Prioritizing Hoosier needs this session

Posted by: Abigail Campbell  | Tuesday, January 2, 2018

With the General Assembly’s 2018 session kicking off this week, I would like to share my proposals for new laws to help constituents gain an understanding of why I am proposing these measures and the benefits they could bring.

 One piece of legislation I have been working on for years is the elimination of the licensing of a constitutional right, namely our gun rights. I understand this has some controversy attached to it, but I find our state’s license to carry a handgun requirement to be as dangerous as it is immoral. As a Marine and elected official, I swore an oath to support and protect both the United States and Indiana constitutions, as they are written. To accept the licensing of just one constitutional right opens the others to infringement. My recent thought experiment of holding journalists to the same licensing requirements as our gun rights evoked a nationwide outcry of being unconstitutional and despicable. They were right and proved my point most satisfactorily!

Another piece of legislation I have authored would decriminalize marijuana and allow patients recommended by physicians access to medical cannabis. I became interested in this issue this past summer when the confusion over our current cannabidiol (CBD Oil) laws garnered national attention. I then immersed myself into studying the positives and negatives of medical cannabis. Indiana is in the midst of an opioid crisis, with thousands of Hoosiers dying and countless lives being wrecked. Of the 29 states that currently allow medical cannabis, they have seen on  average a 25-percent reduction in overdose deaths, with some states seeing up to a 50-percent decline, a number that is simply too big to ignore.

I spent several days touring medical cannabis facilities in Illinois, which is recognized as having some of the best safeguards in the nation. I have also worked with countless medical, pharmaceutical and industry experts. More important, I have listened to countless people who have been helped by a natural product that has not taken one life by overdose. It is significantly less addictive and has significantly less side effects and toxicity than so many current prescription drugs we currently take. I took the best practices from these 29 states around the nation and developed legislation that is industry-leading and right for Hoosiers. I understand this is a controversial issue, but once people learn the facts and get away from the fear mongering, I am convinced this will offer a better quality of life to thousands of Hoosiers.

Along the same lines, I have drafted legislation that would eliminate the confusion surrounding our CBD Oil laws and bring common sense to this issue. I am actively working with national experts in this field and drafted legislation that comports with federal guidelines. It will greatly help Indiana’s agricultural sector by recognizing the many benefits of industrial hemp. It would be an overall win for thousands of Hoosiers.

A fourth bill would ensure that rape test kits are completed in an expedited time frame. It would empower the Indiana State Police with greater capability and oversight to make sure that this issue is dealt with as quickly and respectfully as possible.

My final bill deals with our outdated alcohol laws. Instead of trying to tweak more than eight decades of laws, I started with a clean sheet of paper to introduce common sense and bring our alcohol laws into the 21st century.

This is a short, 10-week session, but I am looking forward to it and the opportunities it brings. This session will be exciting and I will keep you informed as we move through it. Please feel free to contact me at 317-234-9499 or at h69@iga.in.gov.

 

Sincerely,

Jim Lucas

State Representative

District 69

 

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State Rep. Jim Lucas (R-Seymour) represents House District 69, which includes

portions of Bartholomew, Jackson, Jennings and Jefferson counties.

A high-resolution photo of Lucas can be downloaded by clicking here.