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February 2011
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Indiana Senate committee backs legalization study

Who kidnapped these Indiana State Senators and replaced them with humans?

Ind. Senate panel backs bills for study on marijuana legalization, track drugs used for meth

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A state Senate committee on Tuesday backed having the state crime policy panel study whether Indiana should legalize marijuana after hearing a legislator with multiple sclerosis say he wished he could legally try the drug to relieve his pain.

The committee also approved a bill requiring computerized tracking of cold medications used in making methamphetamine rather than mandating prescriptions, as some law enforcement groups urged.

The Senate’s criminal law committee voted 5-3 to advance to the full Senate the bill directing the criminal law and sentencing study committee to examine Indiana’s marijuana laws next summer and make recommendations.

Bill sponsor Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, said she was concerned about the undetermined millions of dollars state and local governments were spending each year on police, prosecutors, courts and jails to enforce marijuana laws.

“We need to be able to say to the citizens of Indiana, `This is how much it’s costing us and is this where you want to spend your money and your tax dollars?'” Tallian said.

Update: Apparently some similar attack of the body-swappers has happened in Kentucky.

FRANKFORT — The House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday night approved the most sweeping changes to Kentucky’s penal code in a generation in an effort to reduce prison and jail crowding. […]

The result of much negotiation and compromise, the bill would steer many drug addicts into treatment and community supervision rather than prison. It drew praise from prosecutors, defense lawyers, judges and local leaders. The Kentucky Chamber of Commerce endorsed it, warning that the state’s incarceration costs are draining resources that could better be spent on education. […]

One-fourth of Kentucky’s nearly 21,000 prison inmates are serving time for drug offenses. The state is spending $460 million this year on its Corrections Department.

Among many changes, the bill would maintain existing penalties for people caught selling the largest amounts of drugs while reducing penalties for people caught selling lesser amounts. It would reduce penalties for drug possession — often to misdemeanors — and allow courts to send minor offenders to addiction treatment and place them on an appropriate level of community supervision.

Simply locking up everyone convicted for drug offenses hasn’t worked, House Judiciary Chairman John Tilley, D-Hopkinsville, told his colleagues. Since 2000, Kentucky’s prison rate has grown by 45 percent, compared to 13 percent for the national average, with no reduction in the number of repeat offenders.

Kentucky needs to rethink who needs to be behind bars and who can be handled differently, said Tilley, the bill’s sponsor. […]

Also, any state legislator who filed a bill to establish a new crime or strengthen the penalty for an existing crime would have to identify a source of funding and list the cost in terms of housing or monitoring criminals.

[Thanks, Tom]

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5 comments to Indiana Senate committee backs legalization study

  • Dante

    The question is:
    “We need to be able to say to the citizens of Indiana, `This is how much it’s costing us and is this where you want to spend your money and your tax dollars?’” Tallian said.

    No. A thousand times no. A million, even. No.

  • divadab

    This is how prohibition will end – with a whimper as the costs of the prohibition machine come home to roost and people can no longer afford this malicious waste.

    It will end at the local and State level first – since they can;t print money like the corrupt and evil feds, who will continue until they have collapsed the currency and caused global economic chaos in pursuit of unjust dominion. All we can do is hunker down and wait for Babylon to fall.

  • kaptinemo

    “All we can do is hunker down and wait for Babylon to fall.”

    That, and continue to knock out the bricks from the foundation, with well-aimed LTEs harping on the costs ,the costs, the costs of it all. Obviously, it’s getting through in Indiana; this is Mark Souder country we’re talking about, here.

  • DdC

    Editorial: Scott’s prison break
    Indiana’s system is much smaller than Florida’s, but Buss radically cut costs there. In large part he did it by getting legislators to focus on something that might go against the “lock ‘em up” theory that has pushed Florida’s prison population past 100,000 inmates, and cost Florida taxpayers billions. That is, using prison for criminals who need to be there, and finding other — less costly, and less socially damaging — remedies for those who shouldn’t be there.

  • This is not my America

    Hell has frozen over. Sorry Al Gore, your out of a job.

    By the way…Indiana sucks!!

    Thud ,thud, thud, CRASH !!!