Attorney general candidate Weinzapfel calls on Indiana to legalize marijuana
The Republican nominee, former Congressman Todd Rokita, will square off against the Democrats’ choice, former Evansville mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel. Wochit
Democratic Indiana attorney general candidate Jonathan Weinzapfel is calling on the state to legalize marijuana, saying it could boost funding for public education while helping to reduce the state’s prison and jail populations.
In a statement released Monday, Weinzapfel said he believes regulated marijuana sales would help Indiana recover economically from the pandemic. He also pointed out that Indiana’s neighbors Illinois and Michigan already have legalized recreational use of marijuana.
“As Attorney General, I would work with the Indiana General Assembly to create a well-regulated system and advocate that tax dollars generated from the sale of recreational cannabis to be directed towards public schools and giving teachers a raise,” Weinzapfel said. “I also would push for a portion of those new dollars to be invested in supporting and improving public safety.”
Jonathan Weinzapfel (Photo: Courier & Press)
Weinzapfel, who was mayor of Evansville from 2003 to 2011, previously told IndyStar that he supported the regulation of marijuana for medicinal use but at the time he didn’t go as far as calling for legalization of the drug for recreational use. “I think we ought to decriminalize it as a state and approve its use for medicinal purposes under a doctor’s supervision,” Weinzapfel had said.
Brent Littlefield, a campaign adviser for Republican attorney general candidate Todd Rokita, said Weinzapfel’s call to legalize marijuana was another one of the Democrat’s “radical soft-on-crime ideas.” He added that “Todd fully supports current Indiana state law which allows for a judge to issue a Conditional Discharge for first time, small marijuana possession offenses.”
In an earlier interview with IndyStar, Weinzapfel said he supported Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears’ decision, announced last year, to not prosecute cases in which an individual’s only arrest charge is possessing less than an ounce of marijuana.
“Having a felony on the record of a lot of young people because of possession of small amounts of marijuana makes zero sense,” Weinzapfel said.
When IndyStar earlier this year asked Rokita whether he would support the decriminalization of marijuana in Indiana, Rokita said he would stand by the state’s lawmakers in his role as attorney general.
“Whatever the General Assembly comes up with is what I will defend, on this issue or any others.”
Weinzapfel is calling on Indiana to legalize marijuana, saying it could help boost public education funding and reduce incarceration.
These states are voting on marijuana legalization in 2020
by: Nexstar Media Wire
Posted: Oct 14, 2020 / 12:10 PM EDT / Updated: Oct 14, 2020 / 12:10 PM EDT
WASHINGTON (NEXSTAR) — As voters head to the polls to select the next president, residents of five states will decide whether to legalize medical or recreational marijuana.
Right now, 33 states have legalized medical cannabis, according to CNN. 11 of those states have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
In 2016, pot measures passed in eight out of nine states where it was on the ballot.
Here’s a look at the states where voters will decide the future of pot:
A proposition on the ballot would legalize the possession and use of marijuana for adults who are 21 or older. People would be permitted to grow six marijuana plants at their home as long as the plants aren’t in public view.
The Arizona Department of Health Services would be responsible for regulating marijuana facilities and stores.
Four years ago, voters narrowly rejected a measure to legalize recreational marijuana.
There are two measures on the ballot in Mississippi that aim to legalize pot for medical purposes.
Initiative 65 would make medical marijuana available for people with very specific qualifying conditions, according to WJTV. Patients could possess up to 2.5 ounces of medical marijuana at one time. The initiative also sets a state tax rate.
Initiative 65A does not specify qualifying conditions or possession limits. Regulations would need to be set by state lawmakers.
The state will see two marijuana initiatives on the November ballot.
CI-118 or “Allow for a Legal Age for Marijuana Amendment” would make 21 the legal age to purchase cannabis for recreational use.
Ballot issue 190 would largely accomplish the same thing with additional regulations. According to Ballotpedia, the measure would legalize the possession and use of one ounce or less or 8 grams or less of marijuana concentrate by people at least 21. It also puts a 20% tax on legalized marijuana that would flow into the state’s general fund.
Question No. 1 on the ballot would make pot legal for adults 21 and older. Medical marijuana is already legal in New Jersey, and the group that oversees the regulation of medicinal cannabis would also regulate recreational pot.
The constitutional amendment would take effect on January 1 and would make Jersey the first state in the Mid-Atlantic to legalize marijuana, according to Ballotpedia.
Because of the economic impact expected to be brought in by residents of neighboring states, it’s believed passage in New Jersey could put pressure on other states in the region to pass similar measures.
The state will be voting on both medicinal and recreational marijuana during the general election.
Amendment A would legalize recreational cannabis for anyone 21 or older, according to KELO-TV. The measure would also require state lawmakers to pass laws that create a medical marijuana program by early 2022.
Measure 26 would only allow for the sale of medical marijuana to people with “debilitating medical conditions.” Patients cleared for the program could possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana and grow plants in their homes.
BDS Analytics, a industry intelligence firm, reports the marijuana business in the United States could top $30 billion before the next presidential election.
As voters head to the polls to select the next U.S. president, residents of five states will decide in November whether to legalize medical or recreational marijuana.