Former Kosciusko County Prosecutor David Kolbe has never been shy about expressing his thoughts on marijuana and came out this week in support of legalizing pot.
Kolbe, who has family in Colorado and visits there often, says he’s not inclined to use pot himself (he says he wants to remain mentally sharp for his legal career) but says the availability of it in Colorado – where it’s legal – has become a “complete non-issue.”
In a post on Facebook, Kolbe wrote that he’s bothered by the approach in Indiana where it is a crime to operate a motor vehicle with metabolites in one’s system. “Those are the remnants of cannabis ingestion from days or weeks before. There need be no evidence of impairment for it to be a crime,” he said.
“Regardless of what one chooses about cannabis, I think it is about time we stop punishing people who use it, medically help those with addictions and focus on the real crimes in our society,” Kolbe wrote.
While Kolbe’s outlook might not be widely-shared locally, change is in the air. In fact, anyone can now travel to three dispensaries in Ann Arbor, Mich., (a three-hour drive from Warsaw) and legally purchase a variety of cannabis products. Close to home, the prosecutor’s office in Marion Counties announced they will cease criminal prosecutions of people caught with small amounts of pot. Lake County also appears to be moving in that direction.
Earlier this week, Major League Baseball became the first major US sports league to remove marijuana from its drug abuse list.
Kolbe served one term as county prosecutor when he ran as a Republican in the 1990s. Years later, he worked as the county chair of the Democrat Party.
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POLITICAL NOTES – Two things to consider:
- Dr. Chris Magiera, of Warsaw, continues to host online discussions on Facebook as he mounts a primary challenge against Third District US Rep. Jim Banks, of Columbia City. He’s hosting a series of live events on Facebook on Thursday nights. The next one is Dec. 26. And Magiera shows he is more than willing to poke the bear along the way, as the cartoon (to the right) posted on his candidate Facebook page suggests.
- District 9 State Sen. Ryan Mishler has an online legislative survey available online. You can find it here.
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ON THE TEAM – A few months ago, InkFreeNews posted a story recalling the shooting death of Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Det. Sergeant Phil Hochstetler 25 years ago. An accompanying story looked at Drew Hochstetler, one of Hochstetler’s three surviving sons, who had set his sights on a career in law enforcement. Turns out that Drew is now set to be one of five merit deputies who will be sworn in Monday for the Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department.
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SHEDDING LIGHT – Just for the heck of it, I tried counting the number of new street light posts along the 1.5 mile stretch of the reconstructed Market Street in Warsaw. I tried it twice but lost count by the end when the number had topped 70 lights. But what really jumped out as I traveled up and down the road was that the density of street lights – how closely they are spaced – is noticeably lighter in the second phase.
City Plan Director Jeremy Skinner said he noticed that as well, but said it was not a conscious design effort even though officials had heard a few complaints about the modern, brighter lights after the first phase of construction had been completed.
Skinner points out that the entire stretch of Market Street is not as brightly lit up compared to Parker Street, which conformed to INDOT street light standards.
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THANKS, T-U! – The Fulton County Courts invoked the same media policy they used in the trial of Alyssa Shepherd for her sentencing on Wednesday. Shepherd is the driver who struck four children and killed three at a bus stop outside of Rochester more than a year ago.
The case gained national attention and media interest, but Fulton’s little courtroom led officials to limit the number of media passes to six. Of those, two were set aside for the Rochester Sentinel and the local radio station.
Two others were set aside for TV-radio and two more for print. Six media reps showed up Wednesday morning hoping to get one of four passes via a drawing of numbers from a hat.
Winners on the TV-radio side were WRSW radio and WNDU-TV while WBST-TV left empty-handed (no other TV stations sought a pass, surprisingly).
On the print side, InkFreeNews (a division of The Papers Inc.,) the Times-Union and the Logansport Pharos-Tribune were seeking the final two passes. Instead of letting the chips fall where they may, though, a Times-Union reporter persuaded the Logansport reporter to withdraw her name from consideration with a promise that the Warsaw newspaper would share its story with Logansport. The reporter eventually agreed.
And just like that, InkFreeNews was in like Flynn. Reporter Liz Shepherd will cover the sentencing, set to begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday.
Dan Spalding is the editor at InkFreeNews.com.
He covers city government and politics and always welcomes your input.
He can be reached at [email protected] or at (574) 855-7612.