INDIANAPOLIS – Indiana Democratic Senate candidate Thomas McDermott Jr. on Wednesday released a video ad showing him smoking marijuana in honor of 4/20, a cannabis-related celebration.
McDermott, who will face Republican Sen. Todd Young on Nov. 8, has been vocal about his support for the legalization of marijuana, but the video of him lighting it up is a first.
In the video, McDermott can be seen lighting a joint and smoking it in an Illinois backyard, where marijuana consumption has been legalized. He talks to an attorney, a physician, a criminal defense attorney, a professional distiller and another elected official about the benefits of legalizing weed.
“Here’s the bottom line,” McDermott says in the video. “We need to legalize marijuana at the federal level. We also need to legalize cannabis in Indiana as well, so Hoosiers can get the health and economic benefits of cannabis.”
The Hammond, Ind., Mayor admitted last year on his “Left of Center” podcast that he smoked marijuana at a recent Grateful Dead show at Wrigley Field.
Democratic party pushing for legalization
McDermott unveiled the ad on the same day the state Democratic party is launching a tour to push for the legalization of marijuana in Indiana. The state party started publicly advocating for the policy change back in November, but with Republicans in control at the Statehouse, it had no impact on the 2022 legislative session.
None of bills dealing with marijuana legalization received a committee hearing.
Republican legislative leaders and Republican Gov. Eric Holcomb has continued to voice concerns about legalizing weed at a state level before it’s legalized at a federal level. Earlier this month the US House passed a bill that would decriminalize the substance, but the measure is not expected to pass in the Senate.
According to the National Conference of State LegislatorsIndiana is one of 13 states that has no legalized marijuana for either medicinal or recreational uses.
Call IndyStar reporter Kaitlin Lange at 317-432-9270 or email her at email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: kaitlin_lange.