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Indiana State Police Chief: If It Were Up To Me, I’d Legalize and Tax Marijuana

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director November 27, 2012

    The scent of reform and rational marijuana policies must be drifting across the Rockies into distant areas of the country, as today the Indiana State Police Chief stated that he would tax and regulate marijuana.

    Speaking during a budget committee hearing, Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell was asked about marijuana, his answer was quite frank:

    “It’s here, it’s going to stay, there’s an awful lot of victimization that goes with it. If it were up to me, I do believe I would legalize it and tax it, particularly in sight of the fact that several other states have now come to that part of their legal system as well.”

    When officials holding upper echelon positions in state law enforcement start calling for the end of prohibition and the implementation of sensible reforms, a nationwide awakening can’t be too far off.

    Read more here.

    41 Responses to “Indiana State Police Chief: If It Were Up To Me, I’d Legalize and Tax Marijuana”

    1. Gene says:

      Remember it’s WE THE PEOPLE!!! if we educate each other and unite there is nothing they can do

    2. Dan says:

      Indiana’s going to introduce a bill next session for the decrim of 10 grams or less next session ( http://www.ibj.com/gop-senator-plans-bill-decriminalizing-pot-possession/PARAMS/article/36791 ) hopefully with enough support we might be the third state to legalize. if you live in indiana, email Sen. Steele and tell him to do what is right ( http://www.in.gov/legislative/senate_republicans/5315.htm )

    3. Gweedo says:

      Wow! This is amazing. A year ago, you probably couldn’t have found a single police chief in America willing to publicly state that he wants to end prohibition. But now they’re starting to pop up all over the place! LEAP is mostly retired officers, but maybe we’ll finally start to see more current officers coming out in favor of legalization.

    4. TheOracle says:

      Yeah, and states are hurting for money for their pensions. Nobody else except for the cannabis community is screaming to be taxed more. This is a nice revenue stream for states help solve their budget shortfalls. Keep your nice fat pension without any cuts in benefits or having to pay more out of your own pocket, Chief! It’s on us, the cannabis community.

      Thanks for seeing the light, Chief.

      I knew if they and you prohibitionists
      kept driving the economy into the ground with your wastefulness you’d come around to seeing the waste and the foul stench of death cannabis prohibition has been all these years when if finally bit you in the ass, namely your pension and furloughs from budget cuts.

      Now, we can get on our way to an economic recovery, or if you are of the mindset that government still has money to waste or cannabis prohibition enforcement, then my recommendation is to keep driving the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized. Why should the investor class pump money into the economy when government still has glaring policies that indicate government is of the mindset that it still has money to waste?

      Do you want a stalemate in the fiscal cliff and subsequently even more of an economic downturn?

      Don’t be stupid.

      NOTHING SAYS FAILURE LIKE TWO STATES LEGALIZING!

    5. Jason says:

      Finally the start of progress in Indiana. I hope that more officials follow Mr. Whitesell’s lead in Indiana. Lets go Hoosiers email your reps while we have some momentum in our favor.

    6. Galileo Galilei says:

      It is a real breath of fresh air to hear this simple common sense coming from law enforcement.

    7. Matt says:

      Good to see publicized support making its way through the country!

    8. rebelrick says:

      im tired of people spreding propaganda that marijuana is a bad thing! Alcohol kills astonomicly more people every day! Yet you can go freely and buy some 100 proof vodka drink it on the way home and come in and beat your significant other! I have yet to see a violent smoker yet every time i go to a bar or club serving alcohol by the end of the night there is at least one fight! I know people that have become extreme alcoholics just because their place of employment drug tests and are scared to get fired. I believe that the use and deaths related to alcohol would decrease if pot were legal and regulated the same way. Also the tax benifits!! We could put a major dent in the deficit in tax revenues alone. Like the cheif said its already here its not going anywhere why not make some money off of it! I support any one who supports legalization and will argue untill im red in the face for those who dont!!

    9. rebelrick says:

      Write your congressmen and women and show your support!!

    10. John k. says:

      It is a relief to read this. I emailed State Senator Greg Taylor, and have been for a long while now.

      All that I know is that they submitted a bill and it is just collecting dust at congress.

      I replied back to Greg Taylor, stating, keep submitting a new one if that is what it takes, over and over, don’t stop till Cannabis is fully legalized.

      Paul Whitesell, thumbs up.

      @Congress
      Pass legalization of Cannabis in Indiana already. Just don’t tax it to much where we can’t afford it. Remember, not all of us are filthy rich. Taxed to death as it is already.

      Thank you to norml.org for showing this article.

      I wish the best for other states as well.

      Prohibition doesn’t work.
      War on drugs is a failure.

      Good luck to all states.

    11. Jeff says:

      Finally!

    12. Fed-Up says:

      TheOracle,

      c’mon,be nice.

      Just as long as it took for the 40 year old U.N. resolutions to be established,might it take for the new ones to gain a foothold.

      Gradually, not overnight.But in a time released fashion,for the good of humanity!

    13. Bummer Oklajoma says:

      Amazing what happens when we start the ball rolling!

    14. […] Indiana State Police Chief: If It Were Up To Me, I’d Legalize and Tax Marijuana The scent of reform and rational marijuana policies must be drifting across the Rockies into distant areas of the country, as today the Indiana State Police Chief stated that he would tax and regulate marijuana. Speaking during a budget committee hearing, Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell was asked about marijuana, his answer was quite frank: “It’s here, it’s going to stay, there’s an awful lot of victimization that goes with it. If it were up to me, I do believe I would legalize it and tax it, particularly in […] […]

    15. Don M says:

      I look forward to the day when I view police officers as people I can trust serve and protect instead of being people that so many of us live in fear of! Marijuana prohibition has created an environment across this country where the people don’t trust law enforcement or their government and this has to end.

    16. nicholas still says:

      ohio needs to legalize weed

    17. Dan says:

      No plant should ever be made “illegal”. That same plant may one day save your life.

    18. Dave says:

      Yeah, it is very nice to hear common sense from someone in a position of authority. More and more people are coming to see the “collateral damage” from the War on Marijuana is many times greater than any problems marijuana is supposedly causing (and all of which has been proven to be myths). Take the police out of the marijuana equation and we take nearly all danger out of it as well. Most officers know their job isn’t to cause trouble; yet that is what they have to do or face sanctions when dealing with someone who’s got some herb. I suppose the successes in Washington and Colorado are helping more people in authority have the courage to stand up and say the right things, things they haven’t mentioned before for fear of a backlash.

    19. David says:

      I live in Indianapolis, IN. You should know the Indiana State Police immediately released a statement basically trying to ‘take-back’ what the police chief said…HA! He meant it.

      Also our new Republican Governor to be, Mike Pence, says he is against decriminalizing Cannabis!!!!!!!! Say it ain’t so.

    20. TheOracle says:

      Do not be deceived.

      If the economy keeps getting better incrementally, they will once again have the money to continue the persecution. It’s their nature. Do not trust these people, these prohibitionists. They’ll turn on you.

      The only way they will legalize is if you leave them no other choice.

      “Americans can always be counted upon to do the right thing – after all other possibilities have been exhausted.” – Winston Churchill

      Waiting another 40 years for the U.N. to change, longer from 1961, you gotta be nuts. They don’t need a lot of time to put [brackets] around the words that need to be removed from the document, CSA or dumbass international treaty, to remove cannabis, and make way for legalization.

      Put in the [brackets]. Vote to approve. Pass it. Done.

    21. Bob says:

      No way, i can’t believe my home state police chief is actually talking like that. amazing

    22. h4x354x0r says:

      The drug war kills people. The drug itself does not. Cannabis is completely non-toxic; nobody has EVER died of an overdose.

      This, alone, is reason enough to end prohibition.

      There is not a single other drug on the face of the planet – not aspirin, not ibuprofen, not caffeine, not any pharmaceutical drug, and certainly not alcohol or tobacco, with such an astounding safety record. It’s a very mild drug, with mild effects, and mild addictiveness, and again, ZERO real-world toxicity.

      Pot is basically the safest drug on the planet. Prohibition is the most dangerous and damaging social policy on our planet.

      We need to end the enormous social damage caused by cannabis prohibition.

    23. Brandon says:

      Dave is correct – there was an immediate statement from the Indiana State Police saying that despite his comments that the Superintendent does not believe marijuana should be legalized. Ridiculous.

      Also Mike Pence is going to be an embarrassment I’m afraid. While Mitch Daniels was a pragmatic moderate governor, Pence is much more party line Republican and already has come out against decriminalization (where Mitch said “I will leave nothing off the table” when it came to reform). I think Hoosiers forgot how special Mitch was when they decided to give Pence a go. :(

    24. RUT says:

      REMEMBER THE POLICE ARE A BUSINESS AND THEY DO NOT WANT TO BE PUT OUT OF WORK BECAUSE THERE IS NO BOGIE MAN TO FIGHT. THE KEY WORD IS RETIRED POLICE CHIEF. A WORKING POLICE CHIEF CAN NOT SPEAK OUT LIKE THIS. HE WOULD BE GIVEN A GOOD TALKING TO FOR SAYING A TRUTH LIKE THIS. A TRULY FREE SOCIETY WILL ONLY BE POLICED AS MUCH AS IT WILL ALLOW! GOVERNMENT WILL NOT LISTEN SO VOTE OUT THESE OLD GUARD POLITICIANS. THEY WANT TO PROTECT US FROM THIS HORRIBLE WEED BY PUTTING US IN JAIL. JAPAN HAS 43 PEOPLE PER 100,000 IN PRISON,THE USA HAS 740 PEOPLE PER 100,000 IN PRISON. DO NOT FORGET WE ARE THE FREEDOM PEOPLE! I LIVE IN FLORIDA WHICH IS A REAL JERKWATER STATE AND IT DOES NOT ALLOW THE MEDICAL MARAJUANA I COULD USE FOR MY HEALTH PROBLEM. I AM RETIRED AN CAN NOT AFFORD MY PILLS. KEEP UP THE GOOD FIGHT!

      [Editor’s note: Good points…best made not in ALL CAPS.]

    25. Elaine says:

      Clearly not all law enforcement is bad! I believe that many of them secretly would like for marijuana to be legal (and may even secretly consume it themselves) but don’t have the courage to utilize their freedom of speech. Peoples opinions of the police would change drastically from fear to respect if only they weren’t, basically, forced to enforce a law that is so very bad for the individuals and for our country in general.

      I have a great deal of respect for Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell for showing the courage that is sorely lacking among so many others who seem to prefer hurting others than to do any possible bit of damage to themselves.

    26. Jeremy says:

      When I was in school I was considered by doctors to be ADHD. At that point it didn’t matter if I felt okay a certain day or more “hyper” another day I was forced every day by a nurse 3 times a day to take adderall. I wasn’t allowed to leave if I didn’t take the pills. I became very addicted to pills and it took me a long time to realize that it wasn’t helping but killing me. So I started smoking marijuana and I can honestly say that it is a much more effective and much more reasonable solution to my personal needs then any prescription drugs I became a user of. If you seen how the effects like I have and my family has you would understand and most likely have a change of heart.

    27. H says:

      You must understand that during the recent election Richard Mourdock running for U.S. Senate spoke how a legitimate rape that resulted in a pregnancy was”Gods Will” and millions agreed with him on this and his quote about being in office “Is my way of imposing my view on other people” the guy is a nut but religious nuts really like to control others.

      If anyone believes that the same population would allow any adult to smoke weed just to relax, have fun or even treat pain they do not know how resolute the population will be when this is brought up for a vote; IMO half of the citizens would argue with God even if he appeared on TV in favor of changing this law.

      It will take an act of congress at the federal level to change anything as abhorrent as allowing a person to do something they do not believe in.

      Hoosiers can be as bad as the Taliban, it just depends on how their preachers tell them to vote.

    28. Judy says:

      @h4x354xor – You are absolutely right! If our Govt actually had the best interests of the American people it would be made legal immediately. The fact that it has been illegal for many decades after having been made illegal for purely racist reasons proves that they do not! Further, the fact that the prohibitionists within our Govt refuse to allow the discussion/debate regarding the pros and cons is even more reason to believe that their agenda has nothing to do with the will of the people or public safety. That is why we need to find a way to throw the bums out! Although there are a few exceptions, that means most republicans.

    29. Fed-Up says:

      TheOracle,

      I agree with you for the most part.

      I mentioned the U.N. because of the comment’s Raymond Yands(of The International Narcotics Control Board) made about hoping that Eric Holder” will take the necessary measures to insure that Marijuana possession and use remains illegal in the United states’,or something to that effect.

      maybe he is just blowing hot air.

      l hope that the economy doesn’t need to take a complete nose dive for cannabis legislation .(even though i see how that could be a big motivator) You know there are “theories out there that the elite are trying to crash the economy on purpose,so they can form a new currency for the NWO. Lets just hope that,that is a conspiracy theory” and not a conspiracy reality.Viva, Alex Jones.

      But anyways,i enjoy your wisdom,your sound creative ideas and your sarcasm.

    30. Dave says:

      Uh, why the F should we care what Raymond Yands says about anything? He has no authority anywhere in the USA. We should fill his loft with marijuana so he can study the “problem” up close and personal.

      :Q) As a country, lets keep taking advice from crazies that want us to fail.

    31. Fed-Up says:

      Dave, for all i know.. good question. brief media coverage on yahoo.

      nothing substantial.

    32. steve says:

      Agree with David above. Here in Indy this is unheard of. Why not help the farmers in Indiana than with a new crop as well.

      Indiana reform….please.

    33. Ty says:

      Its about time officals come out of the closet……

    34. steve says:

      Indiana Business Journal Poll on rethinking Indiana’s cannabis laws.

      http://www.ibj.com/poll?pollId=169

    35. mark says:

      I would just say this the way how people says it would help them out like people with aids or some other kind of feeling like bad anxiety levels or panic attacks or something that could help them out besides pills I might not be a doctor but honestly if a person feels he is getting addicted to medication then when the time comes and he feels in a way he needs to get help then that’s different but I know others might not feel the same way because some likes the way it relaxes a person but if a person had really bad stress levels it might help a person but there is my thoughts wish mine would help with a vote.

    36. phil says:

      if there is a chance then we could get this done we should go for it so many people use marijuana and we would be able to make millions on a state level and the goverment could do what they love to do tax the hell outta us. ????? do u think the NEW WORLD ORDER will allow it to be legalized?????

    37. Jerry Maulden says:

      Here’s one for you.
      I’ve smoked cigarettes since I’m four or five yrs old, started with Dad’s Pall Mall red packs un filtered. The Famous cigarette! Don’t know why…I had to enter the service to learn Marijuana. But by then I already knew how to make un licensed whisky. Moonshine if you will. I helped my dad make it until he was arrested when I was eleven yrs old, the father of seven, he didn’t go to jail. They put him on probation for three years.
      The arrest of my Dad split my Mom and Dad up. They were divorced within nine months. I grew up without my Dad right there were he should’ve been. Dad took us camping, like in the scouts. canvas tents, lanterns fishing poles canoes everything you need to know to survive without a Domineering government oppressing me.
      The Army, My beloved Govt. is where I learned Marijuana, from a Pueblo Indian from around phenix Arizona.
      At this time I’m now 57 yrs old and I wonder, I’ve smoked cigarettes all this time, and quit tobacco several times. Now truly for three yrs. I still smoke Cannabis because I’m afraid not to. Being it anticancerous I’m gonna keep smoking it as a maintenance. I enjoy smoking weed. It is calming and evidently medically beneficial to us so…I wonder if Oregon and Colorado can smoke it in this land of United states, then why can’t I? I’m not hurting anyone, and I believe I am saving the government money on meds by smoking. from smoking and breathing asbestos in grade school I have COPD with intermittent Bronchitis and emphysema. Two bad valves in my heart. From my heart’s pumping I have less oxygen causing several other complaints at 57 I’m fraid not to smoke it. Now here’s the kicker… (I don’t) you’ve made it illegal, they lied to make it illegal. Why don’t I take my citizenship to Oregon or Colorado?

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