Lucy Brenton is the Libertarian candidate campaigning to be Indiana’s next U.S. Senator, although if you haven’t heard of her it could be because some media outlets apparently believe it causes physical pain to mention her candidacy alongside incumbent U.S. Senator Joe Donnelly or Republican candidate Mike Braun. Brenton also vied for the same office during the 2016 election, and with 149,481 votes achieved 5.5% of the vote count in a race that also featured former U.S. Senator Evan Bayh and current U.S. Senator Todd Young.
Lucy is a known proponent of ending the prohibition on cannabis and it is a major platform of her campaign. In response to an interview question from Indy Politics host Abdul-Hakim Shabazz about why she decided to run for Senate again, she mentioned cannabis. “A big thing right now is obviously medical marijuana and cannabis use and things like that,” she explained. “Why we are jailing non-violent people for smoking a plant is beyond me and is expensive to the taxpayer. It should cease immediately.”
While our official Indiana NORML candidate survey is currently in progress, Lucy was one of the first individuals to respond. The second question for federal offices asks if the candidate would support the Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States (STATES) Act, which would exempt state legal cannabis from the federal Controlled Substances Act.
“Yes, I would support any measure that moves us towards total legalization and freedom surrounding the issue,” she penned in response. “This issue can be more easily fought at the State level and supporting the STATES act would likely result in freeing more States, faster.” Indeed, while the STATES Act is a half measure that stops short of removing cannabis from the Controlled Substances Act entirely and thereby removing all federal restrictions on both state legalization efforts and scientific research, it is one of the most viable pieces of cannabis legislation currently in Congress and it would give Indiana a clear go-ahead from the federal government to pass cannabis reform legislation during the 2019 session.
A recent poll conducted by NBC/Marist asked registered voters who they would vote for if the election were held on the day they were being surveyed, and 8% responded that they would vote for Lucy Brenton. 44% said they would vote for Donnelly, 41% for Braun, and 8% were undecided. Mike Braun stated during a primary debate that it should be a states’ prerogative if they want to pass a medical marijuana program, while Donnelly recently cosponsored the VA Medicinal Cannabis Research Act, which would encourage the VA to conduct trials on the clinical value of cannabis but would not reform any of the difficulties encountered by those seeking to conduct clinical trials, including the need to acquire approval from numerous federal agencies or the fact that the University of Mississippi is the sole facility licensed to cultivate cannabis for research use.
Jared Hall, the political director for the Libertarian Party of Indiana, believes that Brenton is the best choice for those supportive of cannabis reform. “Far too many individuals are finding themselves at an impasse having to decide whether to live with chronic pain and/or other medical conditions or to use cannabis to self-medicate and risk fines and possibly incarceration. Far too many people have faced the latter and are finding that it has long term detrimental consequences on their ability to succeed in a career. Far too many have no hope that their chronic pain can be alleviated, and instead fall victim to the dangers of the opioid epidemic. Lucy Brenton understands these concerns and has fought for years as a voice for education and the personal freedom to choose how one wishes to proceed in their medical care. We deserve someone willing to be an unwavering representation of our voice, and that person is Lucy.”
The Indiana Debate Commission will be hosting two debates before the general election, one on October 8th and a second on October 20th. In the past, hosts of the IDC debates have typically asked about medical cannabis, so there is a good chance Indiana voters will have the opportunity to hear each candidate express their views on the issue side-by-side before heading to the ballot to cast their vote.
Lucy Brenton discusses her stance on cannabis during a Facebook live video.