Bil Browning

Indiana to Reform Marijuana Laws?

Filed By Bil Browning | September 20, 2011 11:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Politics
Tags: Indiana, marijuana, Senate Democrats, weed reform

The Indiana legislature has been studying the state's marijuana policy with an eye to reforming the system. The study group was supported by both political parties, but the Indiana Senate Democrats pinkpotplant.jpgsent out an interesting e-mail this morning asking Hoosiers their opinion on weed reform. The e-mail asks readers to take a one question poll on their thoughts on reforming Indiana's marijuana laws.

Other states have already changed their marijuana laws. Fifteen states have legalized marijuana for medical use, and thirteen states have decriminalized the possession of small amounts. Public opinion seems to be changing. According to the Pew Research Center, 41% of people think marijuana should be legalized and 73% of Americans say they favor their state allowing its use for medical purposes.

Please select the option that most closely reflects your position on marijuana policies in Indiana:

  • Marijuana should remain illegal, with the same penalties that are currently in place
  • Criminal penalties should be reduced or eliminated for possession of small amounts of marijuana
  • Only medical marijuana should be legal
  • Marijuana should be treated like alcohol, with restricted sales and taxes imposed

What do you think the top answer is? The results are after the break; it might shock you.

Indiana-weed-reform.jpg

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I assume this email was sent out to some sort of Democratic Party email list -- and I suspect that Democrats fervent enough to get on the list might be highly left-leaning. I doubt that a scientifically conducted survey designed to represent the mix of all Hoosier voters would produce the same result.

This survey is a fantasy. You know, if only we could ask all the Republicans in the state to move elsewhere, there would be a lot of things we could legalize.

Of course it isn't a scientific survey. Politics (particularly popular politics, e.g. when people get to vote) rarely relies on scientific method. If it did then half of the laws we have would be gone. Every time people vote on an issue they are a biased group of people (good, bad or otherwise) who are deciding on an issue.

The more interesting point is that Democrats didn't put nearly as much thought and effort into taking a stand against the Republican push to make marriage only between a man and a woman. In fact, many Democrats supported the effort! So I guess that means my family and I rank far below pot on the scale of important topics. Glad to know we're so important!

Yes, Just Sayin, your point that the voting booth is not a scientifically representative sample is well taken, and one reason why polls are so bad at predicting election outcomes. Some polls attempt to target "those voters most likely to vote" but their success at that is varied at best.

I'm on the iPad & in a rush, so it's hard to find the links right now, but there've been a couple I dependent polls that asked about this & ended up pro-legalization. (After all, it's Indiana's #1 cash crop!) it's why the legislature agreed to study it.

I didn't know this, Bil, and I consider it good news -- instead of flying all the way to Amsterdam to get stoned, all I would have to do is drive to Bloomington. (That's nothing new -- but it being entirely legal would be.)

Marijuana is nothing like alcohol. It should be legalized ONLY for home cultivation. Commercial sale, advertising, large scale production and promotion should be illegal. Jeeze, read Carl Sagan's Mr. X, some Lester Grinspoon, studies done by the Ethan Nadelmann's Drug Policy Alliance which has broad support across the political spectrum. Marijuana is not a party drug. Business and government need to keep their sticky fingers off it. It can be grown as easily basil and tomatoes. People who don't know how to use it, who lack experience with it should be encouraged to stay away from it. If it were treated that way, with the respect any useful instrument deserves it would become the non issue it really is.

Ron Paul strikes again!

If you would like some recent scientific data on legalized dope smoking by the Gallup organization...see link below. Interestingly the Midwest has the least favorable view of legalization.

http://www.gallup.com/poll/123728/u.s.-support-legalizing-marijuana-reaches-new-high.aspx