Indiana Police Head Supports Legalization of Marijuana

Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell surprised many when he added his voice to those supporting legalization of marijuana. Whitesell appears to support legislation that would decriminalize possession of marijuana.

Whitesell is joining over half of Americans in this view and an increasing number of states.

Whitesell’s comments came in a budget committee meeting when he disclosed that after 40 years of busting people for pot, he had had enough: “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.”

That is certainly the view of states like Washington which estimate that hundreds of millions of dollars can be collected in taxes from the legalization of marijuana. However the voices of law enforcement officials is likely to resonate more loudly in the growing debate.

Source: WFPL

50 thoughts on “Indiana Police Head Supports Legalization of Marijuana”

  1. “Also what about home growing for personal use?”

    Dean Fox,

    I think there is a provision that allows people to brew beer at home and make wine in quantities that are for personal use and this would work well with pot.

    On the broader issue of decriminalization the tax argument is to me not a prime issue because one needs also to calculate the billion$ which would be saved by government via legalization. Around 15% of the people incarcerated in this country are for sale and/or use of marijuana. They are predominately poor and/or people of color. On the Federal level the cost of maintaining a prisoner for a years is about $30,000. On the State and local level the costs range up to $50,000 per year. It is estimated conservatively that this country spends about $63 billion per year on these arrests, prosecution and incarcerations. I think that is probably too low an estimate. http://drugwarfacts.org/cms/?q=node/53

    The most telling argument against the entire “Drug War” is that the last nationwide effort, against one of the most humanly destructive drugs alcohol, was not only an abject failure, but bred a culture of crime that lasted far beyond the repeal of the Volstead Act. Humanity has used mood altering drugs for almost its entire history and why the hell not? Those opposed to these usages are generally opposed for reasons that stem for their need to exert social control over peoples’ lives. They equate this usage with immorality and sin. I some religions all stimulants are beyond the bounds ad sinful. From an economic standpoint many business people abjure recreational drug use by their employees because they feel, without evidence, that it interferes with efficiency. All together though the reality is that it is also about social control and the authoritarian mindset.

    As someone who has worked in the treatment and sobriety of addicts of all kids of addictions I am firmly convinced that our current drug laws breed far more addiction than we realize. Regarding marijuana specifically, many of my generation who came to power forget the reality of their own past. In NYC of the late 1960’s and through the 1970’s smoking marijuana (if you were white) was a public affair. It was smoked openly in movie theaters, concerts, bars and on the streets. The police looked the other way, if you were white. I openly smoked marijuana at weddings, Bar Mitzvahs and other affairs. My aged relatives thought it was funny and in my rather straight-laced family o one chastised me. This was because it had become as common as drinking alcohol at these affairs. I was convinced back then that due to its widespread national usage it would shortly be legalized.

    What I didn’t take into account was the ascension of Ron and Nancy Reagan, who used a “War on Drugs” to mobilize the religious social control freaks to fight back against what they saw as the dread sexual revolution and the general decline in morality brought on by the 60’s generation. I also didn’t foresee that this business of criminal enforcement would directly lead to a burgeoning industry of “Drug War” forces who gained power and made their living in the battle. It was a victory of selective memory, false memes ad naked greed for power, that overwhelmed a populace that only wanted to “get high”, and through meme creation deemed this group almost satanic in their “perversity”. What a complete waste of many peoples lives has been made by the prosecution of the “War on Drugs” and yet despite recent gains I ca’t fully believe that it is coming to an end. There is far too much money being made by those who would continue to make it a issue of legality.

  2. Here are the lyrics to a song that provides the best argument for the legalization of pot. If you google Peter Tosh Bush Doctor Lyrics you can get the tune to download and hear it sung by The Man.

    “lyrics heBush Doctor
    Warning!
    Warning! The Surgeon General warns
    Cigarette smoking is dangerous, dangerous
    Hazard to your health
    Does that mean anything to you

    To legalize marijuana
    Right here in Jamaica
    I’m say it cure glaucoma
    I man a de Bush Doctor

    So there’ll be
    No more smokin and feelin tense
    When I see them a come
    I don’t have to jump no fence

    Legalize marijuana
    Down here in Jamaica
    Only cure for asthma
    I man a de Minister(of the Herb)

    So there’ll be no more
    Police brutality
    No more disrespect
    For humanity

    Legalize marijuana
    Down here in Jamaica
    It can build up your failing economy
    Eliminate the slavish mentality

    There’ll be no more
    Illegal humiliation
    And no more police
    Interrogation

    Legalize marijuana
    Down here in sweet Jamaica
    Only cure for glaucoma
    I man a de Bush Doctor

    So there be
    No more need to smoke and hide
    When you know you’re takin
    Illegal ride

    Legalize marijuana
    Down here in Jamaica
    It the only cure for glaucoma
    I man a de Minister

    re”

    –Peter Tosh, Bush Doctor.

    So, the Chief is probably thinking that if this stuff is legalized then there will be no more police brutality and no more illegality.

    For some reason humanoids have this desire to ruin their lungs with dirt and die thereby whether the cause of death be labeled as cancer, heart disease or pistol whippin. When the autopsy is done, the schmuck in the white coat writes down the cause of death as lung cancer or heart attack and not death by smoking, i.e. suicide. The pistol whippin part comes about when the cops catch you with the wrong kind of weed that you are smoking.

  3. I am reminded of that John Wayne movie where he is once again being paid by some tobacco company. The Green Berets. He is leading his troops through the jungle in Nam and they stop for a break. “Smoke em if ya gottem”, he says with authority. Of course the ramificatins go beyond the fact that the Viet Cong always liked it when we smoked out in the jungle when we were trying to sneak up on them because then they were able to easily sneak up on us. The longer ramifications are that all those guys are suffering from lung cancer, heart disease and or stunted growth. Now, I am not advocating criminalizing tobacco smoking but the disconnect in this country between health and taxes is quite a stretch. They would tax gynocology if they could get away with it. None of this kind of stuff should be legal just because it can be taxed. Or taxed just because it is legal. So, put a tax on the faster version of suicide which involves pistols.

  4. I’d love to see some good numbers on the cost to the nation of alcohol verses the revenue it generates. I suspect we will make the same sort of trade off with geef.

    Thats not to say it shouldn’t be legalized, taxed and regulated, only that the future will not be as rosy as supporters paint – it also will not be as dark as the detractors prophesy. The big advantage is it will stop making felons out of kids looking for a little party time.

  5. THose who have commented about the tax being higher than the black market price are correct. If the state taxes the maryjane too high the black market will become worse than it was before, because the users are not punished by the law so the disincentive to buy it is no longer a factor.

    The best thing they could do is make the maryjane cheaper than the black market price. The black market infrastructure and distribution is already in place and established and won’t go away if legal weed is too expensive.

    I worried that in WA the tax might be too high. it is excise taxed at 25% at all stages. 25% at the farmer, 25% at the processor, 25% at the distributor, and 25% at the retailer. With regard to WA privatizing liquor sales and raising fees which raised the price of booze to the consumer up to 30% and many people drove to Oregon or Idaho which reported sales of booze up 25 to 30 percent.

    There is a provision in the law here that gives the Liquor Control Board, which is charged with regulating and licensing the MJ sales, the authority to make policy changes that can address the tax if the black market returns due to the high tax issue. But, Washington is a kind of state that has stiff taxes and fees and loves this revenue more than anything (strangely we don’t have a state income tax) so I am concered it will not give up this tax even if the black market was still in play

  6. The tax thing will have to be done properly. If it’s taxes too high a black market will start up. One has to be realistic. Also what about home growing for personal use?

  7. Taxes on pot are a good way to go. Better that it is a revenue stream than a revenue drain. Let us hear it for the reasonable man!

  8. “The stoners and casual users will not protest (too much) a high tax if pot smoking becomes legal.”

    I’m sure there’s economic studies on this and perhaps I’m wrong, but I would think legal and taxed marijuana would be cheaper than illegal marijuana. In other words, any tax would be less than the increased cost caused by restricted supply, inefficient production and distribution, and the premium charged for the risk involved in growing and selling it.

  9. The tide is turning on this issue. People are finally becoming unafraid to say that the emperor has no clothes.

  10. i doubt any leo’s or co’s will be looking for work. they’ll find something for them to do.

  11. The first person I heard talking about the decriminalization of pot was a police officer about 20 years ago. Don’t remember if he was active or not. Certainly too young to be retired but old enough to have been around the block a few times.

  12. The money generated by regulation and taxes on legalizing marijuana, will overwhelm all 50 states. Wash and Col if they do it right, will soon have a new revenue stream that all other states will envy. The stoners and casual users will not protest (too much) a high tax if pot smoking becomes legal.

    It’s 4:20 somewhere.

  13. So great to finally hear, for possibly the first time, a law enforcement official – one who is still in office- come out for marijuana legalization.

    This is a brave man. They usually wait until they retire to say such a thing.

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