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Medical marijuana, alcohol sales and abortion clinics: What you may have missed this week in the state legislature



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As legislators finish up three and half weeks in session, here’s what you may have missed this week in the Indiana General Assembly:

Medical Marijuana study

A resolution that would assign the topic of medical marijuana to a study committee passed Thursday through the House.

House Resolution 2 passed unanimously, signaling a step closer to the legalization of medical marijuana in Indiana. An interim committee will study the possibility of legalizing medical marijuana before the next legislative session. 

Handgun license requirements

A bill that would remove the fee for a lifetime license to carry a handgun and would extend the four-year handgun license to a five-year license passed Wednesday through a state House committee.

Before being voted on, the bill was completely amended. The original version of House Bill 1424 would have repealed a law that requires someone to obtain a license to carry a handgun.

The amendment would also make those who purchase a five-year license exempt from future background checks when purchasing a firearm. Indiana residents who initially want to purchase a license still need a background check.

The bill now makes its way to the full House for discussion and a vote.

Abortion Clinics

A bill that would require abortion clinics to report any complication arising from an abortion passed through an Indiana Senate committee Wednesday.

Senate Bill 340, which passed 6-1, would make various changes to the abortion law, including the requirement that clinics must report complications to the Indiana State Department of Health.

The bill would also require women to look at the drug manufacturer’s instruction sheets and sign the manufacturer’s patient agreement form.

After passing through the Senate Judiciary Committee, the bill now heads to the full Senate for a vote.

Student journalism

A bill that would expand press freedoms to student journalists passed Thursday in a House committee.

House Bill 1016 would provide freedom of the press to students in grades 7 through 12. It also reads that no school corporation could censor school-sponsored media, unless certain conditions apply.

High school journalists from across the state visited the Statehouse on Thursday to testify in favor of the bill. It passed 9-2 through the education committee and will now make its way to the full House for discussion and a vote.

CBD Oil

Numerous bills attempting to limit confusion surrounding the use of cannabidiol, or CBD, are making their way through the House and Senate.

A bill that would legalize the sale and possession of CBD oil with a THC composition of no more than 0.3 percent passed through an Indiana Senate committee. 

Senate Bill 52 was amended and voted on in a Tuesday committee meeting. The original version of the bill allowed for products with zero THC to be legalized. However, Sen. Michael Young, R-Indianapolis, offered an amendment to expand the legalization to products with 0.3 percent of THC.

SB 52, along with two other Senate bills, are attempting to clear up confusion caused by a bill from last session that allows people with certain medical conditions, such as epilepsy, to use CBD oil. 

Three separate House bills are also attempting to clear up the confusion. House Bill 1214 would legalize CBD oil and reverse the previous law, which states there must be a CBD registration. The bill passed through a House committee this week and will be read for a second time in the full House this Monday.

Alcohol sales

Sunday carryout alcohol sales could soon become a reality after both the House and the Senate passed almost identical versions of the same bill this week.

Senate Bill 1 passed Monday in the Senate while House Bill 1051 passed Tuesday in the House. Both bills would allow for liquor stores, drug stores, convenience stores and grocery stores to sell carryout alcohol on Sundays from noon to 8 p.m. 

Both bills must now go through the process in the opposite chamber, meaning HB 1051 will be heard in the Senate and SB 1 will be heard in the House. Either chamber will have the opportunity to amend or vote down the bill. 

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