Tuesday Hearing to Consider Marijuana Legalization and Decriminalization
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- A former drug prosecutor will testify before an Indiana Senate committee on Tuesday in favor of a bill that would create a commission to study the state's marijuana laws and consider alternatives such as legalization with taxation, decriminalization and medical marijuana. The bill, SB 0192, sponsored by Sen. Karen Tallian, will be heard by the Senate Committee on Corrections, Criminal, and Civil Matters on Tuesday at 8:00 AM in the Senate chamber.
Jim Gierach, a former Cook County, IL prosecutor, will testify that, "Marijuana prohibition does not work now and has never worked. As alcohol prohibition showed, making a drug illegal is the single most effective way to put it in the control of violent gangs and drug cartels."
Gierach is speaker for the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), an international group of police officers, judges, corrections officials, border agents and other criminal justice professionals who have witnessed the failures of the so-called "war on drugs" firsthand.
Gierach will also tell senators that, "We can have safe streets or marijuana prohibition, but not both. We can prioritize violent crime and reserve horribly expensive and limited prison space for those who injure, kill, steal and cheat others, or we can continue to prioritize a war on drugs which has not succeeded by any measure."
Ceasing to arrest people for marijuana and regulating and taxing its sales could lead to more than $182 million a year in law enforcement savings and new revenue for Indiana, according to Harvard University economist Jeffrey Miron.
"We have limited amounts of tax dollars, and the public has told us stop spending money," Sen. Tallian told the Associated Press. "So I think we need to examine now if we want to spend our tax dollars on marijuana arrests or on public education. Do we want to spend it on marijuana arrests or infrastructure?"
The full text of Sen. Tallian's bill and other information can be found at http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/billinfo?year=2011&request=getBill&docno=0192
Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) represents police, prosecutors, judges, prison wardens, federal agents and others who want to legalize and regulate drugs after fighting on the front lines of the "war on drugs" and learning firsthand that prohibition only serves to worsen addiction and violence. More info at http://www.CopsSayLegalizeDrugs.com.
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 14, 2011
CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or firstname.lastname@example.org