TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) - Local Terre Haute authorities speak out about legalizing marijuana after Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell stated marijuana should be legal and taxed.
It's a topic that has been tossed around for years, the idea of legalizing marijuana.
Tuesday Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell spoke at a state budget committee stating that he would prefer to legalize and tax the drug.
Detective Denzil Lewis with the Vigo County Drug Task force says that change would put power into the wrong hands.
"To legalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana does nothing but benefit the larger scale drug dealers and what it does is, its going to generate more drug dealers because more people are going to want to get involved into the distribution of marijuana because now its more lucrative," said Lewis.
Of course money plays a roll with any drug but Vigo County Sheriff Greg Ewing says we shouldn't legalize the drug simply to bail American out of debt.
Ewing says, "I think you're going to lose more than you're going to gain and it can not be because we're going to save money or generate money. I think we need to look at saving money or generating money somewhere else instead of legalizing a drug that's been illegal for years."
Detective Lewis says the Vigo County Drug Task Force deals with more crime linked to marijuana than meth; legalization would only make things worse.
"We've had home invasions, we've had shootings and armed robberies all over marijuana; all over marijuana and the money associated with the distribution of marijuana," said Lewis.
Plus Lewis says what message are department heads sending their officers, who dedicate their time cleaning up the streets, if marijuana became legal?
Lewis says, "It's absolutely a slap in the face to legalize marijuana, it's just a slap in the face and again it benefits no body but the drug dealer."
State police issued a statement saying Whitesell wasn't speaking in his role as superintendent when he made that statement.
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