Indiana declares CBD oil illegal


The state attorney general has declared it illegal in Indiana to make, possess, use or sell cannabidiol products with the only exception being people who suffer from treatment-resistant epilepsy.

Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a chemical compound found in marijuana, but it does not have the mind-altering effects of the other well-known component of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC.

Attorney General Curtis Hill made the announcement by issuing an advisory opinion from his office Tuesday.

“My task at this juncture is not to express my personal view of what I believe the law ought to stipulate. My task, rather, is to help provide clarity regarding what the law already says as written,” he said.

“There is no doubt, as a matter of legal interpretation, that products or substances marketed generally for human consumption or ingestion and containing cannabidiol remain unlawful in Indiana as well as under federal law,” he said. “Cannabidiol is classified under state and federal law as a Schedule I controlled substance because marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance.”

Kyle McIntosh of Crothersville doesn’t have epilepsy but ingests cannabidiol oil regularly to relieve chronic pain and help control anxiety issues, he said.

He was first introduced to CBD products about two months ago in Missouri.

“My back was killing me,” he said. “Someone highly recommended it, so I tried it and still use it daily.”

He is a firm believer in and advocate of the therapeutic benefits of CBD and last month became a distributor of CBD oils and edible products through his tattoo business, Beauty from Ashes.

Now, he faces potential arrest, prosecution and having his inventory confiscated if he continues to sell what he deems to be a better and more natural solution to pain than opioids or other prescription pain killers.

Individual police departments and prosecutors can choose whether to charge anyone for possessing or selling CBD oil, Hill said.

McIntosh said Hill’s decision is ridiculous and harmful.

“It’s insane,” he said. “That’s our so-called government being ran by big pharma. It’s all about money. Our legal system is a revolving door. Our medical system is entrance only. They want us to have complete dependency on big pharma so government can control our health.

“They already have control over our food and water supply,” he said. “Why does it surprise anyone that our health care system is controlled and corrupt?”

CBD oils and products came under fire in the spring after Indiana State Police targeted and raided stores marketing and selling CBD products, which can be administered orally by dropper bottles, sprays or mists and even in gummy or candy form.

New legislation created by House Enrolled Act 1148 was signed earlier this year and creates the Indiana State Department of Health Cannabidiol Registry for those individuals battling treatment-resistant epilepsy.

District 69 State Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, also thinks Hill’s decision is not what’s best for Hoosiers. He is preparing to submit legislation to legalize medicinal marijuana, including CBD products, in Indiana.

“We have been fighting this for months, and sadly, there are many Hoosiers that are suffering and not having the quality of life they could be having,” Lucas said.

Currently, there are 29 states that have legalized medicinal marijuana, and they are seeing on average a 25 percent decrease in opioid deaths, he said.

“We are losing about 100 Hoosiers a month to opioids,” he said. “There is enough proof out there we can save hundreds of lives by passing this.”

Lucas said Hill’s announcement works to his advantage.

“When we get a high-profile decision like this, it really brings the media out, and it benefits my legislation,” he said. “It gives me an opportunity to educate more people. In order for a law to be respected, it must be respectable, and this has everyone confused. It’s kind of embarrassing, but I have legislation that will straighten it out.”

Nancy Franke, who has announced she will run against Lucas in the 2018 Republican primary in the spring, said she believes there is medicinal value in the use of CBD oils when used in a responsible manner.

“I am especially concerned for those who are eligible to use CBD oils as this law originally intended it to be used,” she said. “Those special cases have certainly taken a toll on families, and I hate to see the rug pulled out from under them.

“As for further use of CBD oils, I am all for continued research and expansion of how it can help others in dire circumstances,” she said.

Traci Whipple of Seymour is thankful for CBD as an alternative to opioids.

“I use it for pain relief from a very rare skin disorder and have been opioid-free for almost five months,” she said. “That is a huge stride considering that I was unable to walk without assistance due to the inflammation and joint pain.

“The opioid epidemic should be the bigger issue,” she said. “Leave alone the homeopathic route to pain, seizures and whatever else CBD oil is used for. It is from the earth.”

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