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General News / WBAA

Local Democrats join push for marijuana legalization on statewide tour

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Rep. Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) at a marijuana legalization press conference on Friday. (WBAA News/Ben Thorp)
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State Rep. Chris Campbell (D-West Lafayette) said it was “time to move into this century” and legalize marijuana in Indiana during a press conference in West Lafayette on Friday.

The conference was part of a statewide legalization tour Democrats are promoting – coinciding with U.S Senate candidate Tom McDermott’s race against U.S Senator Todd Young. On April 20, McDermott released a campaign video of him smoking a joint.

During Friday’s press event, McDermott defended the decision to run on marijuana legalization.

“I’m telling you it’s not the most important issue, but I think this is an issue my campaign can gain traction on - absolutely,” he said. “I’m not shying from that at all.”

McDermott highlighted the economic and health benefits of decriminalizing marijuna, but also said he believed decriminalization should be retroactive.

“If you were charged with a marijuana-related crime, I believe it should be expunged from your record – acting like it never happened,” he said.

Campbell has previously supported marijuana legislation in the statehouse. She said if McDermott can win, it will help move the issue forward.

“With 37 states ahead of us I think the mistakes have happened, the positives have happened,” she said. “We’re going to have a lot of information about how to regulate.”

Campbell said surveys of her constituents show an overwhelming support of legalization in some form.

Governor Eric Holcomb has said he would like the federal government to take the lead on the issue.