Indiana State Police Head Supports Marijuana Legalization, Then Backtracks

When you work for an agency whose main purpose is to “catch” criminals and enforce the laws of this broken Drug War, any admittance to the War’s futility should be kept to oneself. Paul Whitesell, superintendent of the Indiana State Police, spoke a little too quickly it seems and in forgetting his position, admitted he would legalize and tax marijuana if it were up to him.

Just hours later, after his words spread, the department issued a statement minimizing his opinion.

Although the superintendent personally understands the theoretical argument for taxation and legalization, as a police officer with over 40 years of experience, he does not support the legalization of marijuana.

Hmm…he doesn’t? Because I could swear his words (“If it were up to me I do believe I would legalize and tax it”) leave little to be misinterpreted.

Apparently, Whitesell’s position means he is not allowed to have an independent and well-informed thought, that is if it flies in the face of what law enforcement is “supposed” to think. After all, the state (and all levels of government) throws millions at the Drug War and admitting it was a waste of resources would mean admitting complete and utter failure.

According to the Indianapolis Star, several state officials have been speaking up in support of relaxing marijuana laws, though it’s “doubtful” Indiana will go as far as Colorado and Washington. Indiana is more conservative and such a major move would take a considerable shift for many lawmakers and voters alike.

But, two lawmakers, Senators Karen Tallian and Brent Steele, are voicing some support. Tallian said she would like to see marijuana possession decriminalized in Indiana for recreational users while Steele plans on introducing a bill to decrease punishment. Under his proposition, possession of less than 10 grams would be an infraction rather than a misdemeanor—carrying up to $500 fine rather than $5,000 and jail time.

As for Whitesell, he’s keeping his mouth shut and his agency said he will not be available to take questions about his opinion. His progressive thoughts on marijuana could truly have some serious consequences for him as he is serving his 8th year and governor-elect Mike Pence, who opposes marijuana decriminalization, can ultimately choose to keep him or appoint someone new.

In a position like his, the Superintendent of Indiana State Police took a chance in supporting marijuana. Whether it was a calculated move, a one-sentence protest, or something he said without thinking—the effects of his opinion remain to be seen.


About David Matson


  • Bert

    Given the sheer number of people sitting under lock and key due to pot, and the simple basic fact that there’s never been a reported drug overdose due to marijuana use by itself, and further the fact that so many states, Indiana probably included, are sitting deeply in debt, with notable negative standout California leading the curve, there, well….at what point do we say that for one, drug enforcement has been pretty much an abject failure, where pot is concerned, and for another, now that the business model has met or exceeded comparisons with Al Capone’s bootlegging organization of the past, to include digitally enhanced and highly effective smuggling methods to include cross-border tunneling just like overseas between Egypt and Gaza where they were doing the arms smuggling, well…at what point has government inadvertently helped contribute to the building of such criminal empires by making it a challenge? We don’t want, or need a multibillion-dollar annual income criminal business entity operating in this country, completely under the radar, and able to probably even talk about things like ‘acceptable losses’, and still rake in the mega-coin, and probably facilitating arms purchases to go along with that, with the final result that the ‘drug war’ could become an actual war, especially in our southern border states, necessitating future foreseeable actions like tanks and attack helicopters and so forth, and so on? Sorry for the run-on sentence, but that’s kind of what it all might hypothetically turn into, unless we act to ‘nip it in the bud’. When people can just go to the drugstore, or grow a plant in their own yard, and there’s no Big Money or firearms involved, I think you’re doing the general public a Big Favor, probably helping to improve our foreign relations, so forth, and so on. Just an opinion.

  • Dan Henning

    ITS A NON TOXIC VEGETABLE THAT GOD HAS GIVEN US TO FREELY GROW AND USE WITH zero RULES OR LAWS THAT DENY IT! The only fn reason its been LIED about and kept illegal is out of GREED. They have allowed people to DIE go to Prison, lose their Jobs…for a FLOWER. This Plant is THEE most important plant that grows on our PLANET!! FUEL/FOOD/FIBER/ LIFE SAVING ALL NATURAL NON TOXIC CURE FOR DISEASE! It will cost the devils TRILLIONS. THATS why this plant has been Demonized..its a gift from GOD..plant it everywhere there is DIRT.