By Dan Spalding
NAPPANEE – A state representative from South Bend will speak on Saturday, March 5, in Nappanee about her support for legalizing marijuana.
State Rep. Maureen Bauer (6th District) will be one of numerous elected officials and leaders participating in the ongoing Jobs Tour campaign to promote the new massive influxes of federal money on the local level.
Bauer, a Democrat, is expected to discuss the economic and health benefits of legalizing medical marijuana, according to a news release from ACT Nappanee-Wakarusa.
The event has support from Elkhart County Young Democrats and the Elkhart County Democratic Party.
The event is open to the public and begins at 3 p.m. at 159 E. Lincoln St. Free parking is available in the adjacent municipal parking lot.
In recent legislative sessions in Indianapolis, 13 marijuana-related bills were authored by Democrats and Republicans, with very little success.
Marijuana is legal for medicinal use in Ohio, and legal recreationally in 18 states, including Illinois and Michigan.
Democratic Party leaders have previously called on Gov. Eric Holcomb to rescind his opposition to marijuana. They argue that waiting for the federal government to legalize the drug will set Indiana back in terms of economic and manufacturing opportunities.
Bauer claims that legalizing medical marijuana is vital for the health of Hoosiers.
“Medical cannabis will relieve a lot of pressure that people use opiods for, veterans, and others with chronic pain,” said Bauer.
Legalization would results in new jobs for positions ranging from grower, horticulturist, cultivation technician, trimmer, harvester, post-harvester, extraction technician, lab technician, production, processing, manufacturing technician, edibles specialist, packager, merchandiser, inventory control, warehouse technician, budtender, patient care representative, pharmacy technician, customer service representative, delivery driver, shop host, and security, the news release said.
“This topic of legalizing medical marijuana for Hoosiers is a going to be a hallmark issue in upcoming elections,” said Chad Crabtree, Chairman of the Elkhart County Democratic Party.
Other statewide and local speakers at the event will discuss economic benefits that have flowed to Hoosier families from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the American Rescue Plan. Speakers include Destiny Wells, Democratic candidate for Indiana Secretary of State; Thomas McDermott Jr., the Mayor of Hammond and Democratic candidate for the US Senate; and Aaron Mishler, an Elkhart City Councilman.
The Jobs Tour is also part of the process whereby local Democrats and party leaders discuss policy elements that will shape the party’s platform “The Hoosier Promise,” which will move from draft to final document to be approved during the Indiana Democratic Party convention in June.
In accordance with CDC guidelines, masks and social distancing are recommended.