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41 US IN: Column: Crashing Federal Government's Hypocrisy onMon, 17 Dec 2012
Source:Tribune Star (Terre Haute, IN) Author:Harrop, Froma Area:Indiana Lines:85 Added:12/17/2012

Ah, the great American West, where man can generally breathe free and also inhale - woman, too. Thank you, thank you, voters in Colorado and Washington state, for legalizing marijuana. But will Washington, D.C., leave you alone? Attorney General Eric Holder said this week that the Justice Department will weigh its response to the state referenda.

A new national poll finds 58 percent of Americans in favor of making marijuana legal and only 39 percent against. A raft of other state laws easing the prohibition on pot and growing public contempt for the existing law should be enough to change the policy. And so should a basic sense of decency.

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42 US IN: Editorial: Don't Let Pot Smoke Obscure Bigger IssueMon, 17 Dec 2012
Source:Tribune Star (Terre Haute, IN)          Area:Indiana Lines:91 Added:12/17/2012

The national buzz over decriminalized marijuana is threatening to cast a smoky pall over a vitally important, long-time-coming improvement in Indiana's criminal sentencing laws that deserves to gain General Assembly approval in 2013.

Don't confuse the limited legalization of pot in Washington state and Colorado with what is happening in Indiana.

Instead of making possession of even a small quantity of marijuana legal, Indiana is, so far, taking another approach.

Here, an arm of the General Assembly, the Criminal Code Evaluation Committee, will put forth recommendations on marijuana possession violations as part of a comprehensive balancing of penalties - the sentences those convicted of crimes receive. That committee's work, some of which stretches back at least three years, is designed to better use Indiana's prison capacity and corrections dollars to punish the most serious offenses, such as rape, child molesting and other violent crimes.

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43 US IN: PUB LTE: Pot Comment Showed WisdomSun, 09 Dec 2012
Source:Evansville Courier & Press (IN) Author:Sharpe, Robert Area:Indiana Lines:30 Added:12/11/2012

Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell should be commended for speaking out against drug war failure. Police time spent arresting marijuana consumers is police time not spent going after child molesters, rapists and murderers -- real crimes with real victims. If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize drug cartels, prohibition is a success. The drug war distorts supply and demand dynamics so that big money grows on little trees. If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to deter use, prohibition is a failure. The United States has double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands, where marijuana is legal. The criminalization of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis has no basis in science. The war on marijuana consumers is a failed cultural inquisition, not an evidence-based public health campaign. It's time to stop the arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.

Robert Sharpe is a policy analyst with Common Sense for Drug Policy.

[end]

44 US IN: Editorial: Don't Expect Indiana To Legalize MarijuanaWed, 05 Dec 2012
Source:Evansville Courier & Press (IN)          Area:Indiana Lines:65 Added:12/08/2012

Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell created a stir last week when he said that if left to him, he would legalize and then tax marijuana. Left to us, and we suspect to a majority of Hoosiers, it is not going to happen anytime soon.

One day, it will likely happen in Indiana and most other states -- that is, the decriminalization of marijuana use. Fifteen states have already decriminalized the possession of small amounts of marijuana, as two Indiana lawmakers have proposed. And just last month, Colorado and Washington voted to legalize the use of marijuana, while voters in one other state, Oregon, turned down legalization this year.

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45 US IN: Hoosier Lawmakers Ponder Changes To Marijuana LawsMon, 03 Dec 2012
Source:Tribune Star (Terre Haute, IN) Author:Hayden, Maureen Area:Indiana Lines:110 Added:12/04/2012

The head of the Indiana State Police may have surprised legislators last week when he told a state budget committee that he personally favored legalizing marijuana.

But the push to rethink Indiana's pot laws isn't new.

A legislative commission set up three years ago to review Indiana's criminal code is recommending that the Indiana General Assembly overhaul the state's drug laws to reduce penalties for low-level marijuana and other drug crimes.

The commission's recommendations don't include legalizing pot or even decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the drug.

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46 US IN: Local Law Enforcement Officials Brush Off Comments On LegalizingSat, 01 Dec 2012
Source:Evansville Courier & Press (IN) Author:Gootee, Richard Area:Indiana Lines:97 Added:12/03/2012

State police superintendent said he'd legalize and tax it

EVANSVILLE -- Local law enforcement officials brushed off comments last week by the head of the Indiana State Police that appeared to support the legalization of marijuana and said they don't expect the state's laws on the drug to change any time soon.

During an appearance in front of panel of state legislators Tuesday, State police Superintendent Paul Whitesell said marijuana was "going to stay" and that if he could he would legalize and tax it.

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47 US IN: Editorial: What Has That Whitesell Dude Been SmokingSat, 01 Dec 2012
Source:Herald Bulletin, The (Anderson, IN)          Area:Indiana Lines:49 Added:12/03/2012

Dude! First you say let's legalize pot. Then, just hours later, you say let's not. Or that's what an ISP spokesman says you meant to say when you said the opposite, anyway.

Not cool. Not cool, at all. What are you, a superintendent - or an average intendent?

Come on now, be real. Tell us what you really think.

Just think if pot were legal and taxable. Gnarly. It'd be vacancy time at the county lock-up and the state pen. Fewer marijuana laws, fewer criminals, dude. And just think of all the bread Joe Taxpayer would save. First Colorado and Washington. Now Indiana! But, Mr. Whitesell, if you really didn't mean it, then I gotta ask: What you been smokin' that made you say it in the first place?

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48 US IN: Police Around Ind. Against Marijuana LegalizationSat, 01 Dec 2012
Source:Herald Bulletin, The (Anderson, IN)          Area:Indiana Lines:55 Added:12/03/2012

SOUTH BEND - The Indiana State Police superintendent's opinion that marijuana should be legalized and taxed isn't finding much support among local law enforcement officials.

Superintendent Paul Whitesell responded to a question on the issue this week during a State Budget Committee meeting, saying that the drug is here to stay and pointing to voter-passed measures in Colorado and Washington that allow adults to have small amounts of marijuana.

Some Indiana lawmakers plan to push during next year's legislative session for making possession of small amounts of marijuana an infraction carrying a fine rather than a criminal misdemeanor, arguing that too much money is spent on prosecuting and jailing people in such cases.

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49 US IN: Police Around Indiana Don't Favor MarijuanaSat, 01 Dec 2012
Source:Tribune Star (Terre Haute, IN)          Area:Indiana Lines:42 Added:12/03/2012

South Bend (AP) - The Indiana State Police superintendent's opinion that marijuana should be legalized and taxed isn't finding much support among local law enforcement officials.

Superintendent Paul Whitesell responded to a question on the issue this week during a State Budget Committee meeting, saying that the drug is here to stay and pointing to voter-passed measures in Colorado and Washington that allow adults to have small amounts of marijuana.

Some Indiana lawmakers plan to push during next year's legislative session for making possession of small amounts of marijuana an infraction carrying a fine rather than a criminal misdemeanor, arguing that too much money is spent on prosecuting and jailing people in such cases.

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50US IN: Column: Legalizing Pot Does Have Its Financial MeritsThu, 29 Nov 2012
Source:Indianapolis Star (IN) Author:Smith, Erika D. Area:Indiana Lines:Excerpt Added:12/01/2012

I never thought I'd see our leaders engage in an honest discussion about the merits of legalizing marijuana, especially here in the Midwest.

But then along came Paul Whitesell.

"If it were up to me, I do believe I would legalize it and tax it," the superintendent of the Indiana State Police told the State Budget Committee on Tuesday.

He was responding to a question from state Rep. Sheila Klinker about the possibility of letting Hoosiers have a small amount of the drug without the threat of criminal penalties.

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51US IN: Editorial: Decriminalizing Marijuana Has MeritWed, 28 Nov 2012
Source:Indianapolis Star (IN)          Area:Indiana Lines:Excerpt Added:11/29/2012

A conversation about whether to decriminalize marijuana already was percolating in the Indiana Statehouse before State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell on Tuesday shared his thoughts on the matter with members of the State Budget Committee.

Whitesell, a 40-year veteran of law enforcement, went further than lawmakers might have expected, saying that, if left up to him, marijuana would be legalized and taxed.

Although state legislators are unlikely to embrace outright legalization (at least for now), recent public opinion polling shows that a majority of Hoosiers is ready to accept dropping criminal penalties against marijuana users who are found with small amounts of the drug.

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52US IN: Indiana State Police Leader Says He Would LegalizeWed, 28 Nov 2012
Source:Indianapolis Star (IN) Author:Sikich, Chris Area:Indiana Lines:Excerpt Added:11/29/2012

When it comes to legalizing marijuana, the politics can be tricky.

Paul Whitesell, superintendent of the Indiana State Police, learned that Tuesday after he told the State Budget Committee: "If it were up to me, I do believe I would legalize it and tax it."

Later in the day, after news of his comments spread, the Indiana State Police issued a written statement clarifying the words of the agency's leader. The statement described Whitesell's comments as a "philosophical" opinion, not an official one.

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53 US IN: Editorial: Drug-free Zones Should Be Kept IntactSun, 07 Oct 2012
Source:Herald Bulletin, The (Anderson, IN)          Area:Indiana Lines:66 Added:10/11/2012

The war against drugs has lessened in some arenas to a gentle slap on the wrist. That's due, in part, to America filling its prisons and jails with low-level drug dealers and abusers. In the state's correction system, 40 percent of the Class B felony convictions are due to drug dealing. Judges have lately been relying on alternative programs such as drug courts or treatment programs to help reduce the prison population.

Since 1988 in Indiana, gathering sites for have youth been such as schools, churches, and parks have been ringed by a 1,000-foot and border known as a drug-free zone in which dealers can get more prison time than, say, if dealing at 1,001 feet away.

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54US IN: Bill Puts Marijuana Penalties Issue Back BeforeThu, 04 Oct 2012
Source:Journal and Courier (IN) Author:Voravong, Sophia Area:Indiana Lines:Excerpt Added:10/04/2012

It's not uncommon for state Sen. Ron Alting, R-Lafayette, to field phone calls and emails from worried parents and grandparents whose children or grandchildren were arrested for possessing marijuana.

Their concerns are almost always in the same vein:

" 'Senator, my kid made a bad choice. ... He's going to get a felony out of this. It's going to ruin his life forever' for, relatively speaking, a small amount of marijuana," Alting recalled Tuesday.

" 'It's going to limit him. ... It's a black eye when he's looking for a job. It's a felony that won't go away.' "

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55 US IN: Editorial: Decriminalize Pot Possession to PutSat, 29 Sep 2012
Source:Herald Bulletin, The (Anderson, IN)          Area:Indiana Lines:47 Added:09/29/2012

The legalization of marijuana has been a hot-button issue across the United States for decades. Some claim marijuana has virtually no detrimental effects. In fact, proponents say it's good for your health. Others say it not only removes inhibitions, it slows reflexes and kills brain cells. One thing's for sure: It costs millions of dollars to enforce penalties against those who grow, use and deal the weed. Motivated mostly by economics, 14 states have already voted to decriminalize the possession of marijuana. In Indiana, the effort, led by Republican state Sen. Brent Steele, is afoot.

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56 US IN: OPED: Past Time For Honest Debate On Drug LawsFri, 28 Sep 2012
Source:Tribune Star (Terre Haute, IN)          Area:Indiana Lines:77 Added:09/29/2012

Last week, the Mexican Navy nabbed one of the world's biggest drug kingpins, a man said to be responsible for billions of dollars in drugs flowing into the United States and for tens of thousands of deaths.

Score one, you might say, for the war on drugs.

But in a speech at Elmhurst College earlier this month, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner, one of our nation's most distinguished jurists, called it "absurd" to criminalize the sale or use of marijuana and questioned whether even cocaine is all that dangerous.

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57 US IN: Editorial: Proposal To Legalize Pot Makes Good SenseFri, 28 Sep 2012
Source:Herald-Times, The (IN)          Area:Indiana Lines:60 Added:09/29/2012

NBC reported last week that voters in three states - Colorado, Washington and Oregon - will decide in November whether they want to make marijuana legal in their states.

Several states already allow marijuana for medical purposes, with about 20 having already considered or about to consider such an option.

Indiana is stepping up now, too, if not quite going so far as to make it legal.

State Rep. Brent Steele, R-Bedford, told the Indianapolis Business Journal last week he plans to add decriminalization of possession of small amounts of marijuana to a bill designed to better match charges and sentencings with offenses to which they're connected in the next session of the Legislature.

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58 US IN: Public Sentiment And Fiscal Issues Shift The Pot DebateSun, 23 Sep 2012
Source:Pharos-Tribune (Longport, IN) Author:Hayden, Maureen Area:Indiana Lines:114 Added:09/24/2012

Retired Logan Corrections Officer Pushing to Decriminalize Marijuana Possession.

INDIANAPOLIS - Chad Padgett is a retired juvenile corrections officer from Logansport who found himself in an unexpected place last summer: Testifying in front of the legislature's sentencing policy study committee holding a hearing on the merits of relaxing the state's marijuana laws.

Padgett, representing a national organization of former and current law enforcement officers, said locking people up for possessing pot was a waste of public resources that could be better spent targeting what he called a "true threat to society."

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59 US IN: Steele Pushes To Decriminalize Possession Of Small AmountsThu, 20 Sep 2012
Source:Herald-Times, The (IN) Author:Hayden, Maureen Area:Indiana Lines:105 Added:09/23/2012

INDIANAPOLIS -- An influential Republican lawmaker believes it's time for Indiana to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana and plans to include language to do so in legislation to overhaul the state's criminal code.

State Sen. Brent Steele, who's played a critical role in criminal justice issues as chair of the Senate corrections committee, said the state's marijuana possession laws are too harsh. Indiana law dictates that marijuana possession is a felony unless it's a first-time offense and the amount is less than 1 ounce.

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60 US IN: PUB LTE: U.S. Public Policy on Pot Is AbsurdFri, 31 Aug 2012
Source:Kokomo Tribune (IN) Author:Slack, Shaun Area:Indiana Lines:54 Added:09/01/2012

In 1974, the federal government tried to build up a case for why marijuana should continue to be illegal, but instead found that it slowed breast cancer, lung cancer and a virus-induced form of leukemia in mice. Why have these results been ignored?

Well, all further public cannabis research was ended by the federal government through either the DEA or President Ford.

Why do we tolerate our government covering up medical advances? So the legal drug companies can make profits on synthetic THC drugs that don't work as well as real THC? Maybe.

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