About a year ago, “The Howey Report,” a gold standard Indiana polling company, released a poll showing that 56% of Hoosiers want serious Marijuana law reform. Last December, Indianapolis TV station WISH-TV, in conjunction with Ball State University released a poll showing 78% of Hoosiers want serious Marijuana reform. In the worst case scenario, over half of the residents of the state of Indiana want real change in the Marijuana laws. One would think those people running for office in Indiana would take this into account.
In late September, Indiana NORML sent out surveys to all candidates in the upcoming election for Indiana Senate and House seats, asking their positions on both medical and personal use of Marijuana. Of the 203 candidates running for seats in the Indiana state legislature in 2014, only 30 responded.
We asked the following questions:
Marijuana has been used for centuries for medicinal purposes and was part of the US Pharmacopeia until 1942. There are currently over 700 studies worldwide that attest to its effective and safe use in treating many medical conditions.
1. Would you support efforts to allow Hoosiers to have access to medical marijuana with a physician’s
2. Would you support a dispensary system like Colorado and Washington to manage this process?
3. I am opposed to any form of medical marijuana.
4. I am unsure and would like more information.
Nationally, there were 658,000 arrests for simple marijuana possession in 2012, according to F.B.I. figures. Indiana spends approximately $150 million a year arresting and prosecuting misdemeanor marijuana offenses. In addition, the War on Drugs has contributed greatly to the problem of prison overcrowding and in diverting law enforcement resources from serious crimes. In neighboring Ohio, possession of up to three ounces is treated as a citation with a $150 fine; in Kentucky the fine is approximately $200 for up to eight ounces. In Indiana, that same amount is a felony with up to 3 years in prison and a $10,000 fine which means that Indiana has some of the most draconian laws in the country.
1. I agree with most Hoosiers that marijuana laws in Indiana should be changed to reflect a more realistic approach and save valuable law enforcement resources.
2. I support taxing and regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol
3. I would support changing the laws for minor possession to a simple citation with a fine.
4. I support personal freedom and think the Government should not be involved.
5. I support the ongoing War on Drugs and oppose any changes to Indiana laws.
6. I am unsure and would like more information.
While we certainly would have liked to have seen more responses, we could not force the candidates to respond. We thank those who did, and feel like they are at least reasonable enough to want their proposed constituents to know their stands on issues.
Several candidates we know to be friendly to our cause did not respond. We know that Debra Jenkins, Democrat, running in the Indiana’s 89th District (east and south Indianapolis including Beech Grove) is in favor of relegalization. We also know Justin Moed, Democrat, running in Indiana’s 97th (west and south Indianapolis) at least favors medical. We know all Libertarian candidates favor relegalization, in fact many of our respondents are Libertarian.
Here are the results of our survey. If you do not see your candidate’s name here, more than likely they decided to not answer the survey. If your candidates are not here, find out who they are and contact them directly. Please visit www.indianavoters.com to make sure who your candidate is, and where you can vote in your own area. Please do get out and vote on November 4th.
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