Study Committee Weighs Overhaul of Indiana's Marijuana Laws at Thursday Hearing
INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- A former officer with the Indiana Department of Corrections will testify in favor of legalizing marijuana before a special study committee of the state legislature on Thursday. The study committee will be evaluating the state's marijuana laws and considering alternatives such as legalization with taxation, decriminalization and medical marijuana.
Chad Padgett, a former corrections and youth services officer from Walton, will testify that, "Marijuana prohibition does not work and never has. As alcohol prohibition showed, making a drug illegal is the single most effective way to put it in control of violent gangs and drug cartels. By prohibiting marijuana, government gives up the right to control and regulate its production, distribution, and consumption. If marijuana was brought above-ground as a legal industry, we could regain control over it."
WHO: Former corrections officer who supports marijuana legalization, other advocates
WHAT: Hearing of Indiana Criminal Law and Sentencing Policy Study Committee
WHEN: Thursday, July 28 at 1:00 PM
WHERE: Room 431, State House, 200 W. Washington St., Indianapolis, Indiana
Padgett 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.
"We can have safe streets or marijuana prohibition, but not both," Padgett will testify. "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. Karen Tallian, a leading champion for reevaluating the state's marijuana laws, told the Associated Press earlier this year. "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?"
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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NEWS ADVISORY: July 27, 2011
CONTACT: Tom Angell - (202) 557-4979 or firstname.lastname@example.org