By TOM LoBIANCO The Associated Press
State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell. Aug. 28, 2006. AP
INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana’s state police chief told lawmakers Tuesday that marijuana should be legalized and taxed, prompting his own agency to quickly walk back his statement as lawmakers consider decriminalization.
State police Superintendent Paul Whitesell told members of the State Budget Committee on Tuesday that he’s followed the issue during his 40-year law enforcement career and believes “it is here, it’s going to stay.” He cited voter-passed measures in Colorado and Washington that allow adults to have small amounts of marijuana as evidence of a national shift on the issue.
“My thought is, toward the zenith of my career, it is here, it’s going to stay,” Whitesell told the panel. “That’s an awful lot of victimization that goes with it.
“If it were up to me I do believe I would legalize it and tax it, particularly in sight of the fact that several other states have now come to that part of their legal system as well.”