In the ad posted online, Hammond Mayor Tom McDermott, who is challenging Senator Todd Young (R-Indian), called for federal drug legalization. McDermott said the ad was filmed in Illinois, and intentionally released on 4/20, a day when some Americans celebrate marijuana.
McDermott is the second US Senate candidate this year to appear smoking marijuana in an online ad.
“What happens is that a lot of Hoosiers who are caught with this plant are getting arrested, and they are thrown in jail, and they get criminal records, and that is unacceptable,” McDermott said on Wednesday.
McDermott appeared at a news conference in Indianapolis on Wednesday as the Indiana Democratic Party launched a statewide tour to advocate for marijuana legalization.
“I’m just here to talk about myself and other veterans with PTSD who would like to choose a different path,” said Terry Moore, one of the veterans who spoke to reporters.
Senator Young’s campaign declined to comment for this story. While running for House in 2014, Young told WLKY that he thinks medical marijuana should be a decision up to the states.
To date, 37 states have legalized marijuana for at least medical use. Indiana is not one of them.
“We have to put pressure on the vast majority in the statehouse because they are the ones who don’t,” said Evan McMahon, president of the Indiana State Libertarian Party.
Several bills related to the legalization of marijuana were introduced in the Statehouse in the last hearing, but none received a committee hearing.
State Governor Eric Holcomb said Wednesday that he will not support statewide legalization before marijuana is allowed under federal law.
“Even from a medical point of view, this is illegal at the moment from a federal perspective, and this needs to change first and foremost,” Holcomb said. There are plenty of other countries that have clearly ignored this. I am not one of those people who would disregard this law.”
We have reached out to Republican state legislative leaders for this story and are awaiting a response.