Indiana cigarette tax hike, legal marijuana bids stalling

" Cigarette" by haprog, CC BY 2.0

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Renewed attempts in Indiana to increase the taxes paid by cigarette smokers and legalize at least some marijuana use face cloudy futures with state lawmakers.

Anti-smoking groups and business leaders are pushing for a $2 boost to the state’s 99.5 cents-per-pack cigarette tax, arguing the hike would reduce Indiana’s high smoking rate and discourage youths from starting to smoke. Proposals for similar increases have failed in recent years and Republican legislative leaders say they don’t sense much appetite for it during this year’s legislative session.

Bills are pending to allow medical or recreational marijuana use in Indiana. But it doesn’t seem the GOP-dominated Legislature will challenge Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb’s opposition even as neighboring Michigan, Illinois and Ohio have taken legalization steps.

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