As legislators, it is our responsibility to listen to and serve constituents, and on the issue of legalizing marijuana, Indiana’s GOP Supermajority is failing. Republicans, Democrats, and independents all support legalizing marijuana. My own position on this issue is especially influenced by talking to Hoosier veterans who have been at the forefront of advocating for legalization in Indiana. It’s time for the state to listen to these voices and act. As we’ve seen in the 18 states that have already legalized marijuana, making this change can bring huge benefits to our justice, healthcare, and economic systems.

Eliminating the senseless criminalization of simple possession of marijuana will free up our justice system and prisons. Legalization can also help reduce drug-related crimes that put our law enforcement officers in danger. Making this change can redirect law enforcement’s attention and resources to other public safety priorities. 

Legalized marijuana will also open up a safe, reliable, and taxable industry for countless Hoosier families. Indiana is an agriculture state–why are we ignoring a huge opportunity to boost our agriculture economy? Hoosier farmers would have access to a lucrative cash crop, and entrepreneurs would have a new way to innovate and bring new business to our state.

In addition, medical marijuana is proven to be a very helpful therapeutic drug for those suffering from PTSD, anxiety, Alzheimer’s disease, and more. By continuing to let the supermajority stand in the way of legalized medical marijuana, we continue to deny many Hoosiers–especially veterans–the help they need.

At the end of the day, we need to legalize marijuana in the state of Indiana because Hoosiers want it done, and it’s the right thing to do. Indiana needs leaders and legislators that listen to citizens and want to do what is best for them. As the next State Senator for District 31, I will promise to do that very thing. I will listen to my constituents and help them in any way I can.

Yours in service,

Indiana State Senate Candidate, District 31