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Indiana Democrats see political advantage with marijuana legalization push

Screenshot of a Zoom call

The Indiana Democratic Party is throwing its weight behind marijuana legalization ahead of the 2022 state legislative session.

Individual Hoosier Democrats have long supported marijuana legalization in some form. But Indiana Democratic Party Chair Mike Schmuhl said making the issue a signature for the full party came out of conversations party leaders have had with Hoosiers during statewide tours over the last several months.

"It doesn’t see urban or rural divide because it can help folks who live in either community," Schmuhl said. "It doesn’t really favor young or old because people who are young or old see benefits."

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Schmuhl said he also thinks advocating for marijuana legalization can help bring people into the political process.

"Perhaps folks who aren’t super engaged in politics or create a new type of single issue voter," Schmuhl said.

Republican Statehouse leaders have already nixed the idea of marijuana legalization in the near future.

Contact reporter Brandon at bsmith@ipbs.org or follow him on Twitter at @brandonjsmith5.

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.