The Indiana Democratic Party will push for the legalization of marijuana in the next legislative session, reports WTHR.
Democrats are aware of polls showing almost 80 percent of Hoosiers support legalizing Cannabis for medicine, adult use or both. In addition, of course, those poll numbers have continued to increase over the years.
Weed possession in Indiana is currently punishable by up to 180 days in jail and up to a $1,000 fine. It gets worse with prior convictions or possession of larger amounts; jail time increases to a year or more. But neighboring Michigan and Illinois have both legalized adult-use Cannabis. And neighbor Ohio has legalized medical marijuana.
‘Indiana Is Now On The Verge Of Losing Out Altogether’
Indiana politicians — at least those on the Democratic side of the aisle — see the writing on the wall. Beyond that, they are actually taking initiative and showing leadership on the issue.
“Hoosiers have seen the impact that recreational and medicinal cannabis use has made on the states around us. And not only are they contributing to neighboring states’ economies, Indiana is now on the verge of losing out altogether,” said Mike Schmuhl, chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. “The Republican supermajority at the Statehouse is losing its economic sense if they do not join the Democrats.”
“The continued criminalization of marijuana increases racial disparities in our criminal justice system and limits economic opportunities,” said prosecutor Ryan Mears. “The decision by the Marion County Prosecutor’s Office to no longer prosecute simple possession of marijuana cases has saved taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars,” Mears said. “And it has kept low-level and non-violent offenders out of our legal system.”