We do not have the luxury of the citizen’s initiative in Indiana. Our state’s constitution doesn’t permit it, so if we intend to make changes in the Marijuana laws, we have to change those who want to maintain the status quo.

Indiana NORML will release a candidate survey shortly before the election, in an effort to inform those who want relegalization as to who supports it and who doesn’t. Indiana NORML can not endorse any candidate because of our 501(c)(3) status, but we can tell you what candidates think. But you, the potential voter, have to do some work on your own.

Indiana’s election is on Tuesday, November 4th. Polls will be open from 6am until 6pm. Let’s backtrack from there.

You’re going to fill out the ballot. Where do you do that? You usually vote somewhere close to where you live, in what’s called a “Precinct.” You’ll walk in, and if your name is on their book, you get to vote. How does your name get there? You have to register.

The deadline for voter registration in Indiana is October 6, 2014. Even though there is almost a month until the election, if you are not registered, you may not vote. The various clerks involved need that time to make sure your information is correct and your name shows up in the book that the polling clerk keeps.

Let me reiterate because it’s highly important: IF YOU ARE NOT REGISTERED, YOU WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO VOTE!

How do you register? Several ways, but the easiest, assuming you have a valid Indiana driver’s license or other State issued picture I.D., you can register online at: http://www.indianavoters.com. You find out just about anything you need to get registered there, including other options to register.

BUT…before you can vote, you must show a government issued picture I.D. The information on your indentification MUST match your voter registration information. For example, if you moved, you need to not only update your voter registration, you must update your driver’s license.

Now for the reason you’re doing all of this: Putting people in office who want to end prohibition. If the candiate is an incumbent, they will have a track record. If they have a record of wanting to reduce the rights of the people, you can pretty well guess they aren’t on our side. Google the candidate’s name with the word “Marijuana” and you might come up with something.

If they are a challenger, go to their website or Facebook page and ask them their position on relegalization. If they don’t respond, find out when they’re going to be in the district at a function and ask them directly.

How do you find out who they are and what district you’re in? The above link to www.indianavoters.com can give you that information.

Every office is important, from the constable to the congress person. The Sheriff is the highest constitutional officer in your county, and has great influence on your freedom. The Secretary of State guarantees elections are fair and square and keeps on an eye on state businesses. Representatives in the state House and federal Congress make the laws. Some of you will be electing state Senators. They make laws, too.

These are people who will determine when and how Marijuana will be legal. If we want to make progress, we can’t let those who oppose us with their money put the people in office who will keep Marijuana illegal. It’s up to us to get off our asses, learn the candidate’s positions and vote for those who will relegalize Marijuana.

If we don’t, we’ll just get more of the same.