In case you haven’t noticed, there is a movement afoot in Indiana to legalize marijuana. Those of us who have been involved in the “War on Drugs” have known this was coming for some time. It has been happening across our great nation, one state at a time for several years now. At this point in time there are 16 states plus the District of Columbia, our nation’s capitol, who have legalized marijuana in some form and to some degree.
California was first in 1996 with Prop 215, followed in 1998 by Alaska, Washington, and Oregon. In 1999 Maine got on board, followed in 2000 by Colorado, Hawaii, and Nevada. Vermont and Montana fell for the movement in 2004, Rhode Island in 2006, New Mexico in 2007, and Michigan in 2008. In 2010 Arizona, New Jersey and Washington DC passed legislation allowing some possession, and in 2011 Delaware joined the movement. There is legislation pending in as many as 10 other states today as well.
Here in the Midwest many of us never expected to be affected by such a movement, but proponents of marijuana legalization have had their eye on Indiana for years, and now we are facing the battle as well. It is upon us now, a reality, not just a rumor or a suggestion. On Thursday, July 28th, 2011 the Sentencing Policy Study Committee met at our Statehouse and heard testimony on the subject of legalization of marijuana in some form or the reduction of criminal penalties for smaller amounts. Proponents of drug legalization have aligned themselves with those in a position to sell their lies to the younger generation of Americans as a way to generate tax revenue, decriminalize society and reduce the prison population, just to name a few.
Many say that changes in the law are overdue, because you should not have to go to jail for a small amount of marijuana. It’s been legalized in other states, so why is it a problem here? The problem is this is just the beginning! Proponents of legalization are not looking to have complete legalization overnight, they know that if they can get “just a little bit” of movement in their direction on the issue they have won a huge battle. But they won’t stop at that, they will be back in a year or two, guns loaded in order to get “just a little bit” more, and again and again .
This method has worked in other states and it will work here, unless we STOP IT NOW !!!
Over the years I have witnessed a slow but progressive change in what is acceptable by the public. “The social norms” have become more and more open and less and less restrictive, especially on our young people. Provocative dress, x-rated lyrics, computer porn, My Space, Face Book, Pot Face, disrespect for parents and elders, teenage pregnancy, underage drinking and even recreational drug use have become more and more acceptable. This behavior is often ignored because it’s easier to just “go with the flow” than to put up a fight. We have allowed this to happen by our inattention and complacency and as a result our children have accepted these views as well. The problem here is our children and other young people will inherit this country and will assume positions of power in our federal, state and local government and will soon be the law and policy makers who shape the future of the State of Indiana and our nation.
I heard a commentator say the other day that according to a study of young people, most say that they can get their parents to agree to most anything if they just ask, ask, ask repeatedly. They say that parents will eventually give in to their demands with very little fight. Proponents of drug legalization are experts at using this same type of tactic. They will ask and ask, argue, and push until our legislators and the general public give in just to shut them up, little by little they get what they want, slowly but surely, if we let it happen. You as an individual DO have a choice in the matter, get involved, contact your legislators and let them know that you do not approve of any movement to legalize marijuana in Indiana. Write letters, send e-mail, talk to your lawmakers at public events. Get informed, know the issues and make sure your relatives and friends know where you stand on the issue, and especially let your children know where you stand.
I have been involved in drug law enforcement in the State of Indiana for over 24 years. In that capacity and in my capacity as President of the Indiana Drug Enforcement Association, Inc.(IDEA) I have spoken out against drug legalization and the reduction of criminal penalties associated with drug possession in Indiana and intend to continue to do so. The IDEA, as a charter member of the National Narcotics Officers Associations Coalition (NNOAC), sends a delegation annually to Washington D.C. to address these issues and issues regarding funding of narcotics enforcement efforts, visiting Indiana lawmakers in our nation’s capitol and making our presence known there as well. I urge you as citizens and parents to join us in this fight against the legalization of marijuana, which will only lead to the same for other drugs. Speak out, contribute your insight, your time, and/or your money to this effort. Indiana has been called the “Crossroads of America” help us to put up a roadblock against marijuana legalization in the Great State of Indiana!
Visit our website at: www. indianadea.com where you will find links to the NNOAC and narcotics officers associations across the United States.
Tom McKay, President, Indiana Drug Enforcement Association, Inc.