Steven Tom

Indiana Veteran Pushing Lawmakers for MMJ Access

A U.S. Marines Veteran is emerging as a leading advocate for medical cannabis access in Indiana as lawmakers continue to drag their feet on the issue, according to an Indy Star report. Jeff Staker, who served in Operation Desert Storm and Operation Desert Shield, said he founded Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis because “politicians listen to veterans.”

Staker, 51, was a driving force behind the Indiana American Legion’s decision to send a resolution to the state legislature calling on them to “remove restrictions from marijuana and reclassify it in a category that, at a minimum, will recognize cannabis as a drug with potential medical value.”

For the last six years a medical cannabis bill has been filed in the state legislature and for the last six years not a single one of them has even made it to a committee hearing.

The resolution by the Indiana American Legion mirrors the move by the national American Legions, calling on Congress to remove cannabis from the federal schedule.

Despite state not permitting medical cannabis use, Staker admits that he uses the drug “for medical purposes.” He has been on painkilling pharmaceuticals for at least the last 10 years and said he was interested in using cannabis after he noticed he was building a tolerance to painkillers.

“I’m the butt of jokes,” Staker said. “You know, ‘All I need is a doobie and a big bag of Doritos.’”

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