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Indiana police leader says it’s time to legalize pot

INDIANAPOLIS – The head of the Indiana State Police is telling lawmakers he would legalize and tax marijuana if it were up to him.

State police Superintendent Paul Whitesell told members of the State Budget Committee on Tuesday that he had followed the issue during 40 years in law enforcement and believed “it is here, it’s going to stay.”

He cited votes in Colorado and Oregon allowing adults to have small amounts of marijuana as evidence of a national shift on the issue.

His answer came in response to a question from Democratic Rep. Sheila Klinker about pending proposals to decriminalize small amounts of the drug.

Democratic Sen. Karen Tallian has proposed decriminalizing marijuana and Republican Sen. Brent Steele said he would consider a similar measure during the upcoming legislative session.

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