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Should Indiana Legalize Pot?

With nearly half the states in the US allowing marijuana for medical use (and two for adult recreational use), the question of whether or not we should jump on the bandwagon is an ongoing one. Conversations abound on the Internet – a typical opinion piece from the Indy Star sets the tone:
”The time has come for Indiana to legalize, regulate and tax cannabis just like alcohol. Every time I read someone’s name in the arrest section for marijuana possession, I am stricken with a profound sense of injustice. Indeed, if the person has driven under the influence, or has otherwise caused trouble, then on that basis they should be punished. But the simple act of possessing or using cannabis should not be a crime.”

And the conversation continues in the comments readers post about marijuana legalization:
”If we legalize this gateway drug to worse drugs and tax it as proposed, all you have done is create a black market for it to avoid taxes on it. Like moonshine a few years ago.
We still would have the criminal element/drug dealers. we still would have this gateway drug leading to worse drugs like heroin, so all you get from legalizing pot is a feel good.
Nope, don't legalize it!”

So what will it be? If the feds take it off of restricted drug status, Indiana can continue to keep it illegal – states are free to regulate substances as they see fit, even when they are legal at the federal level. In fact, there are still parts of the country where alcohol is banned locally.

In other states, ballot referendums have passed that push the issue of marijuana legalization. No such mechanism exists in our state. The only way marijuana will be legalized is by an act of the legislature which currently is disinclined to make any changes. So far, attempts to introduce bills in the state senate haven’t even gotten out of committee – there is very little legislative support for the idea.

So the conversations will continue, but for now, it looks like Indiana will not be joining the marijuana parade.

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