INGOP: “Doesn’t Make Sense” to Legalize Cannabis, Deliver Brighter Future for Indiana and Hoosiers


Speaker Huston claimed legalizing cannabis “doesn’t make sense to me” — despite numerous economic opportunities, 80-percent of Hoosiers supporting policy idea

Indiana Democrats plan to campaign on cannabis legalization for 2022 election year (and beyond)

INDIANAPOLIS – The Indiana Democratic Party, the organization that advocates for the future of Indiana and its families, today criticized Indiana House Speaker Todd Huston and the broader Indiana Republican Party for their partisan opposition toward legalizing cannabis across the state. In an interview with Fox59 this week, Speaker Huston claimed marijuana legalization “doesn’t make sense to me” – despite the opportunities to create an additional revenue stream for the state, deliver good-paying jobs, develop a long-term cash crop for Indiana’s ag and business communities, provide medicinal opportunities for people like the state’s veterans and seniors, and start the process to expunge criminal records for simple possession across the state. Plus, legalizing marijuana in some form is supported by about 80-percent of Hoosiers with 78-percent of Hoosiers agreeing it’s past time to decriminalize the product. 

Here’s what Speaker Huston had to say about his opposition toward cannabis:

“You make the argument about having that substantial of public policy change just ’cause you’re trying to chase dollars makes no sense to me, so I’m in the same place I’ve been.” – Indiana Speaker Todd Huston, 11.17.21

In the Indiana Democrats’ opinion (as well as a large majority of Hoosiers), cannabis legalization makes plenty of sense – and it should get done in the 2022 legislative session. If the Republicans fail to join Democrats in this effort, it will become a hallmark issue for the 2022 state and midterm elections. 

“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. The Republican supermajority at the statehouse is losing its economic common sense if they do not join Democrats this session in making this opportunity a winner for the Hoosier State,” said Mike Schmuhl, Chairman of the Indiana Democratic Party. “Marijuana is a really popular issue, and a large majority of Hoosiers want to see this get done. Democrats are ready to take the lead on this effort because it’s a win-win for Indiana, and it’ll fulfill the Party’s consistent promise of creating a better future for Hoosier families. It’s time to legalize recreational cannabis across Indiana.” 

Legalizing marijuana has bipartisan support. Indiana Democrats – led by former State Senator Karen Tallian – have called for some form of cannabis legalization for the last decade. Democrats plan to introduce various forms of legalization or decriminalization legislation for the Indiana General Assembly’s 2022 legislative session. Further, Republicans like former State Senator Jim Merritt and State Representative Jim Lucas have also called for various forms of legalization – with Merritt writing an op-ed just last month

Should Governor Holcomb and Indiana Republicans continue to say “NO” to cannabis, they will continue to prove to Hoosiers they are a political organization that values extreme partisanship ahead of a better future for families built on popular issues. Like with the American Rescue Plan and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal, Indiana Democrats are ready to once more deliver more opportunity for Hoosier families. Legalizing cannabis is a common-sense solution a huge majority of Hoosiers want, and Democrats are ready to get this done. 


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