Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

State GOP Leaders Vow Drug Crackdown As They Unveil Their Agenda

Dimitris Kalogeropoylos

Senate Republicans will push this session to make it easier for prosecutors to try to convict people as drug dealers. 

Indiana’s recent criminal code reform required prosecutors to have evidence besides just the weight of a drug to prove someone was dealing drugs – for instance, scales and plastic baggies. 

Senator Mike Young (R-Speedway) wants to eliminate that extra requirement if a person is caught with at least thirty pounds of marijuana or ten grams of other drugs. 

Young notes those amounts are just a starting point and could change.

“But we think that that’s, looking at it that that’s way…it’s probably the amount that would be more than someone could use for their personal use," Young says.

But Rep. Matt Pierce (D-Bloomington) says the only way to win the war on drugs is to halt the demand – which he says means focusing on treatment and rehabilitation.

“You’re never going to be able to cut off the supply because the minute you take that one person off the street who has more than ten grams, one hour later there’s going to be another person right in their place,” Pierce says.

Pierce acknowledges that a minimum weight to prove dealing might be prudent, but isn’t sure if Young’s amounts are high enough. 

Brandon Smith is excited to be working for public radio in Indiana. He has previously worked in public radio as a reporter and anchor in mid-Missouri for KBIA Radio out of Columbia. Prior to that, he worked for WSPY Radio in Plano, Illinois as a show host, reporter, producer and anchor. His first job in radio was in another state capitol, in Jefferson City, Missouri, as a reporter for three radio stations around Missouri. Brandon graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia with a Bachelor of Journalism in 2010, with minors in political science and history. He was born and raised in Chicago.