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Indiana attorney general candidate and Marion County prosecutor discuss legalizing marijuana

wthr.com November 1, 2020
Indiana attorney general candidate and Marion County prosecutor discuss legalizing marijuana

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Democratic candidate for Indiana attorney general hopes his push to legalize marijuana helps him win at the polls.

Jonathan Weinzapfel and Marion County Prosecutor Ryan Mears discussed legalization and regulation of marijuana on Friday.

Weinzapfel has already called on state lawmakers to legalize marijuana. He said it is important to stop prosecuting simple marijuana possession cases. Legalizing and taxing it, he said, could generate $171 million annually for schools and public safety improvements across the state.

"This is a great source of funding to help pay for our public education, to help give teachers a raise and to help fund criminal justice," Weinzapfel said.

Mears discussed the Marion County Prosecutor's Office no longer prosecuting simple marijuana possession cases. He said it helps keep people out of the system who don't need to be there because they are non-violent. He also said those cases unfairly target people of color.

"If someone wants to smoke a joint on their back porch I don't necessarily require the involvement of the criminal justice system, the prosecutor's office or the Attorney General Office," Mears said Friday.


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