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. haha, nick, you missed the lava light resurgence.
    You can buy them at Target now. A ‘must have’ for the hipsters.

  2. When I lived in Chicago back in the 80’s the largest lava light company was still in operation on Irving Park Road, just west of Ashland. It was a half block from Lakeview HS which was the setting for a good indy film, My Bodyguard. Maybe lava lights can make a comeback and reverse the fire hazard candle trend. Having investigated fires for decades, they are a huge fire hazard.

  3. shano, Vaporizers virtually eliminate any dangers from carcinogens first or second hand. Edibles obviously take all “smoke” problems off the table. And, edibles are going to be the venue for more and more people who choose cannabis, that’s the new frontier in cannabis. Candles in dorms and apartments create an exponentially higher fire risk than cannabis.

  4. Steve Jobs said his experiences with LSD made his career. Queen Victoria drank a marijuana tincture everyday for decades. I had a friend that smoked a joint everyday in college who then went on to become one of the best computer programers in the nation.

    I agree college kids may be safer smoking pot at a party rather than alcohol. Kids this age die from alcohol poisoning every year at drinking parties. At least with marijuana, there will be no death from overdose because there is no known amount you could ingest that could cause death. You college kid will make it home for the holidays.

    Colorado and Washington State have banned marijuana from all college campuses. I think this is reasonable since students could be subjected to second hand smoke and as with cigarettes, the fire danger in dorms.

  5. Shano,

    To assure understanding, I agree wholeheartedly with what you say.

    However you say:
    “Some people claim to be ‘psychologically’ addicted to pot.

    I don’t know what is meant by psychological addiction. It could have several meanings. Brain malfunctioning in different ways when deprived. Or simply the longing for the condition which the drug induces. Etc.

    But, one dilemma faced by this novice smoker, only one time please note, is the following question.

    Is the rat race worth all the effort required?
    I trust you know what I mean by this.

    Well, I was not man enough to face and answer the question for myself. I thought that I knew the rat race, but a new life through pot was not something that I was ready to consider or even experiment with.
    Nor dare to try integrating it into a rat race life.

    Now comments by others with more experience of living with it as a casual user would be interesting.

    I assume we have no Huster S Thompsons here, who made a career of it or in spite of it.

    PS More on canniboid receptors, please.

  6. An opinion. No expertise.

    Having done both alcohol and MJ, I can vouch that I did not do dumb or impulsive things on MJ as I too easily did when on alcohol. The Portugese figures support the implications of that.
    Of course, I was never stoned out of my mind on MJ either.

    MJ puts you there, you don’t really have any unfulfilled ambitions or drives to fulfill. You can do things, but you are not freed from restraints or driven by whatever unfulfilled need drives you.
    Again, that is my experience.

    We have two competing ideas:
    —-The assessment that legalization will be effectively stopped by vested interests.
    —-The assessment that the time has come for legalization, for a variety of reasons and a variety of supporters.

    I personally think that legalization can win if a balance point is reached such that the immorality of
    different laws will be obvious. You can have dry states, but not ones where you are put in for serious time for drinking some moonshie—to draw a parallel.

    To be stopped, it will require strong and immediate
    action by Obama and his AG (who? ev change).
    Otherwise the weed will spread or the horse is loose as you prefer.

  7. Here’s the best clinical study on the effects of cannabis by young people. A high % of young people growing up in the 60’s used cannabis regularly. And, they went on to become scientists, doctors, attorneys, electricians, politicians[inhalers and non inhalers]and PI’s. I live near the University of Wisconsin. They are perennially one of the top “party” schools. When I walk past parties prior to football games I see binging on not just beer but liquor. I never smell cannabis. They could use some cannabis and less booze. When I live in San Diego during the winter we have a good # of USD and UCSD students living in the area. They party but you always smell cannabis. I don’t see nearly as much booze and a lot more civil group. In Wisconsin I see a lot of stumbling and puking, very little in San Diego.

  8. What has happened with the war on drugs conflating marijuana with ‘hard’ drugs is this notion that is is addictive. Marijuana causes no physical withdrawal symptoms. Some people claim to be ‘psychologically’ addicted to pot. The fact remains that the body does not become ‘addicted’ to marijuana.

    Alcohol causes massive addiction problems, terrible physical withdrawal for addicts and damages internal organs and the brain. This is not the case with marijuana. Because of this fact, law enforcement always went with the “it is a gateway drug”. Gateway to harder drugs, which only is valid when you are talking about the black market. Some people who sell black market marijuana sell hard drugs, and that is the only connection- access.

    With the limited research on marijuana, we know it is has neuro generation properties (it encourages new neuron formation in the brain). So much so it is being investigated as a medication for Alzheimers patients. Doctors used to think that we were born with all the brain neurons we would ever have, but now know that we can and do create new neurons in our brain. The fact is, we all have cannabinoid receptors in every organ of our bodies including our brain.

  9. What shano and Mike S. said. The legalizing of pot does not mean that kids will be running rampant with it in the streets. It is very easy for kids to get it now, but if you legalize it and restrict by age group, it will be relatively tough to get it. The benefits of taking away the pot criminality and the illegal pushers of it, and taxing it, far exceed the downsides of some minors getting their hands on it.

  10. One could also obtain wine during prohibition if you were a religious organization. That was another exception that was widely abused.

  11. Steg, Thanks, it was interesting. Crowder was good pointing out the flawed thinking via cannabis v Gig Gulp. He skewed his % of people in prison cleverly, using STATE prison stats. Hardly anyone is prosecuted for cannabis growth or distribution on a state level, it’s almost exclusively done on the Federal level. So, US Bureau of Prison % stats would have been much more edifying. Regarding the Prohibition era there are similarities and differences. Yes, La Cosa Nostra built an empire[as did the Kennedy clan] during Prohibition and that empire continued after Prohibition w/ gambling, prostitution and drugs. The current cartels will continue w/ meth, coke and heroin. But that’s tangential. His comparison that alcohol was legal prior doesn’t account for the fact that cannabis was also legal prior. Ironically, during Prohibition most people don’t realize one could get good distilled liquor w/ a prescription from a doc, just like cannabis users can in 17 states. Finally, the police hate to give up cannabis enforcement because it’s a helluva a lot easier to catch than coke, heroin, etc. It has to be shipped in large vehicles and you don’t even need a drug sniffing dog, you could have a cold and flu and still smell it from 50 feet! Bureaucrats love easy.

    1. “If it is legalized, legal purchasers will sell it to younguns. The crooked ones, anyway.”

      Almost every instance of banning a victim-less activity in this country has been put forth as protecting children. Some of the greatest literature was banned from distribution in the U.S. because it had sex in it. James Joyce’s “Ulysses” is one example. It seems to me a weak argument against it. As for protecting children I can remember that the first alcohol I ever drank was at age 11, with my family on the front porch and me supposedly asleep. My first cigarette was at age 13, when I stole it out of my father’s open cigarette pack. With pot legalized the effect on children will come down to their parents, as it usually does. A valid distributor under a legalized system will not the chance of selling it to minors. The probability of an efficient “black market” is not likely. Where the problem will be if the age is set at 21, like it is for liquor, that will no doubt create a black market.

      Now as for its’ effect on brain function, I’m sure there are people doing studies for vested interests and perhaps with vested results. The real question to be explored is why people like to get high, or buzzed by alcohol. Take away those with addictive personality disorders and the overwhelming majority of people do it because it is fun. Now I know there are many moralists, of all persuasions, that look upon having fun as a frivolous waste. They shouldn’t be allowed to dictate to the rest of us, because their need exposes their own pathology. As for those who have addictive disorders the sad truth is that their predisposition is such that they will always find something to be addicted to foolishly, that is the nature of the addict.

      1. It seems that people are divided against themselves. People say protect the children, but when they grow up send them willingly to the military with many ending up coming back dead.

  12. My nephews say it is easier to buy pot than it is to buy cigarettes if you are underage. I believe them.

  13. Steg, the one model we have, Portugal, does not show increased drug use in any sector of the population. Drug use went down, crime went down, revenues came in. Alcohol prohibition is a good model in the USA. Changing to a medical model resulted in fewer deaths from drug abuse, fewer public health problems, etc.

    Look at the high penalty for selling in school zones, no legal seller would take that chance. My nephew was offered pot at school by another student when he was 12!

    Yes, the one bad testing result we have in regard to pot is a negative effect on childrens brains if they are chronic users. The black market cares not who buys the drug..
    If you have laws restricting childrens access, those laws will be enforced, just like selling cigarettes to kids or selling alcohol to kids.

    No sane legal seller will take the chance when they can sell legally to adults.

  14. All “heads”, including the Indiana Police Head, now do not run when demon pot is mentioned.

    Every police department will have a pot head now. 😉

  15. Seems like a good move. Here is an additional link to a Canadian study:

    Also, you may be aware (and loathe) one Steven Crowder. He just came out with a new Marijuana video:

    Almost ten minutes long, but the important stuff from it (my opinion):

    There is still no constitutional basis for the ban.

    There are documented medical problems with the brain from early age marijuana use.

    Getting tested for THC in your system is harder due to needing a blood or urine sample- fourth amendment protections.

    If it is legalized, legal purchasers will sell it to younguns. The crooked ones, anyway. There’s always a few. *This* should be where the police focus their new free time.

  16. The American justice system is entirely too punitive, and legalizing pot is just one step in changing the way we view deviance. I would like to echo what Mike S. said as well, in that the greatest savings promised by legalization would come in the form of reigning in our burgeoning correctional costs. I am baffled that anyone believes we should be spending the kind of money we do to put stoners in prison.

  17. Long overdue. Don’t tax it too high or you will have an underground supply chain that will continue the criminal element. A modest tax is all that should be put on it. It is long past time that our drug use in this country pours money into criminals hands and the result is 50,000+ dead in Mexico in 5 years. Enough.

  18. That makes a change: someone grew a pair and spoke in favour of legalization while IN office.

    Most of those who speak practice CYA until their political careers are over.

  19. “The truth shall make you free.” However, as raff said, he’s not going to get invited to any other police dept. Christmas parties.

  20. “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.”

    That’s definitely the case that at some point too high a tax leads to a black market. But, there’s got to be a lot of room for taxes before it would lead to a significant sized black market. For example, alcohol was prohibited and there was a massive black market in place. Now, it’s legalized and taxed at a much higher rate than ordinary goods, and compared to the volume sold legally, any black market is miniscule.

Comments are closed.