Statehouse News: CBD and Sports Betting Laws being Introduced


(AP) — A state senator has filed a bill that would officially legalize the sale and possession of cannabis oil in Indiana.  Republican Sen. Jim Tomes of Wadesville filed the bill last week with the goal of making the product readily available throughout the state, WTHR reported.  “When we’re done, CBD will be as easy to obtain as baby aspirins,” he said.  The proposed legislation clarifies that CBD oil is not included under the term “controlled substance” in Indiana, making the products legal.  The bill comes six months after an investigation by the TV station revealed that Indiana State Excise Police confiscated CBD products from dozens of stores statewide and cited them for marijuana possession without the knowledge of the governor’s office, the attorney general or state police.  The oil comes from cannabis plants and doesn’t contain THC, which is what causes the “high” that marijuana gives. Tomes said his constituents have told him the oil has improved their medical conditions and reduced their pain without the serious side effects often seen with prescription painkillers.  “These are families that have the horror and the anguish of dealing with medical conditions and, if that’s not bad enough, now we’re in a turmoil of what’s going to be legal and what’s not,” Tomes said. “I want this bill to just cut to the chase, just get rid of all of this unknown and just make this product legal for them.”


(AP) — A state lawmaker says he may sponsor legislation that would make betting on sports legal in Indiana depending on how the U.S. Supreme Court rules in a pending case.  The high court is considering a case out of New Jersey that could open to door for states to legalize gambling on sporting events. The Indianapolis Star reports that more than 10 states have passed or are considering bills to make sports betting legal if the Supreme Court opens the gates.  Republican Rep. Alan Morrison of Terre Haute wants to do the same in Indiana. But his opposition includes the NCAA.  The Indianapolis-based college sports governing body opposes sports gambling. It even bars any of its championship events from being held in Nevada.  Morrison says restricting college bets in Indiana “would be a pretty big burden” for the state’s gaming facilities.



(AP) — Indiana authorities are being required under a new state law to collect a DNA sample from those who are arrested for a felony crime.  The law taking effect Monday requires that police collect a DNA cheek swap, along with fingerprints and photographs during the booking process. That will enable law enforcement to check a database for matches with DNA evidence gathered in other crimes.  The sample may be expunged from the system if an arrestee is acquitted, a charge is lowered below a felony, or if no charges are filed after a year.  State legislators approved the new law last April. Supporters contended it would help solve crimes, along with exonerating the innocent. Critics argued the DNA collection goes against the U.S. Constitution’s protection from unreasonable search and seizure.