Marijuana & Drug Policy
I believe in the federal legalization of marijuana and additionally, any further research and study into naturally occurring remedies. Additionally, Big Pharma and the FDA must invest more time, attention and energy into researching naturally occurring medicines with reduced side effects.
In 2018, a statewide survey by Ball State University revealed that more than 80 percent of Hoosiers want marijuana legalized. The question then to ask is: where does it leave society when those who are elected to represent the public no longer have the motivation to do so? My opponent, Senator Todd Young is in no position to support the federal legalization of marijuana because he continually receives legal bribes (campaign contributions) from Big Pharma. In 2018, he received close to $50,000 from them and since 2007, over hundreds of thousands of dollars. How can he possibly help this cause? What Hoosiers and Americans need are politicians who believe the legalization of marijuana is a national issue, not a state one.
Nearly 83+ years ago (from 2020) marijuana became prohibited in the U.S. and where has that prohibition gotten us? A patchwork quilt of legal, not legal, and an otherwise confusing and contradictory system. It’s also gotten us billions of dollars in illegal asset seizures, millions incarcerated in private prisons, less funding for our schools, more funding for prisons, a militarized police force, and thousands of unsolved murder mysteries because when police could be focused on solving real crimes their locking people up for petty drug offenses. Instead of building more prisons we need more treatment facilities, like the Fayette County Harm Reduction Alliance center in Connersville, IN. I promise to support these facilities (See Prison Reform).
As a nation, when we have a so-called “war on drugs” and have instead developed a disproportionate criminal system that continues to lock people up and throw away the key for selling small amounts of marijuana while letting big time execs go free after they’ve been caught red-handed money laundering for drug cartels (HSBC, 2012), we owe it to the American people to reevaluate that system and correct it. As we continue to see a rise in death from much more dangerous drugs, such as methamphetamine, we must be willing to shift our focus. Alcohol remains the most dangerous drug in the world, even more dangerous than ecstasy and yet, it’s legal and purchasable everywhere you go. Every 19-20 minutes someone in the world dies from an overdose on a legal, FDA-approved, pharmaceutical drug as reported by Dr. Michael Botticelli, former director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy (2014). Another 90,000 die from legally purchased alcohol per year and 443,000 die from legally purchased cigarettes (Centers for Disease Control). Are you kidding me? President Nixon was one of the first presidents who received a medical report on marijuana which stated marijuana was not harmful. I’m reminded of a true story about a seven-year-old boy who was succumbed by seizures. For years his father was provided with every type of pharmaceutical drug you could possibly imagine for treatment and none of it worked. At seven years old he was addicted to benzodiazepines. Anyone unfamiliar with this type of drug should know how dangerous and addictive it can be. His father decided to invest in CBD, an oil derived from the plant and in a very short amount of time he saw some amazing results. For the first time in that little boy's life he was able to get some relief. This is just one reason why we must demand legalization and not take no for an answer.
It has so many other health benefits we can’t possibly count them all: relief from anxiety, emotional disorders, heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s, Huntington’s, cataracts, down syndrome, muscle spasms, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, colitis, nausea, pain, migraines, arthritis, and so much more. Congress must quit playing and pass legislation that makes this substance legal in all 50 states. Now, we’ve managed to legalize hemp and CBD derived from it to a certain degree (via The Farm Bill), but there’s so much more work that needs to be done, which is why as your future U.S. Senator I intend to work on the following upon my immediate election to Congress:
Creating and supporting legislation for the absolute federal legalization of marijuana for both medicinal and recreational purposes both for the good of the economy and job creation. It must become legal and decriminalized. Additionally, I remain dedicated to the possible review of releasing prisoners for any prior convictions related to the sell and distribution thereof.
Creating legislation that removes marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug that finally recognizes it for its medicinal value and purposes.
Working closely with the pharmaceutical companies and industry to address and discourage ads and partnerships formed with medical doctors only for the promotion and sell of drugs
Working closely with the pharmaceutical companies and the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) to create higher standards when it comes to approving drugs and encouraging a more holistic approach to the study and approval of more naturally occurring remedies