Three contenders vying for the Republican nomination for one of Indiana’s U.S. Senate seats discussed medical cannabis at a debate on Sunday night.
“I don’t want a federal government that’s big enough to tackle this problem,” said Congressman Luke Messer. “I think it’s a problem that’s probably best handled at the state level.”
“That’s the reason we need to, from a medical perspective, look at it,” said Congressman Todd Rokita, citing his son Teddy, who has a rare disability. “But we have got to remove THC.”
“I think if a state wants to go to medical marijuana, it ought to be their prerogative,” said former state Rep. Mike Braun. “I’m still out on that issue, but to me, states are a great laboratory. It’s happening right in front of us. We’ll see what happens.”
But even though the candidates varyingly acknowledged cannabis’s medical potential and spoke about letting states lead the way, the two sitting congressman took the opportunity to raise concerns about marijuana.
“At a time when we have an opioid epidemic that’s at crisis levels across our state, I don’t know why we would be opening the door to one of the biggest gateway drugs that could lead to an even bigger crisis,” Messer added.
“I associate with Mr. Messer on that,” Rokita said.
The two U.S. House members have consistently opposed marijuana law reform measures.
Along with Braun, they are vying in the May 18 primary for a chance face incumbent Sen. Joe Donnelly (D) in November.
Debate moderator Brooke Martin of WISH-TV said cannabis is “one of the most-asked-about questions on our Facebook page.”
The candidates previously discussed marijuana policy at a debate in February.
“If medical marijuana helps, we should