This is about tolerance.

It would save the state and counties some money, sure enough.

It would even raise revenues for strapped government entities.

But legalizing marijuana? Is Indiana really ready for that?

One would hope not.

Indiana state Sen. Karen Tallian activated the somewhat clunky state Democratic Senate public relations machine to express her displeasure last week.

Tallian, who represents Senate District 4 which encompasses portions of northern Porter County, as well as portions of LaPorte County, wanted to tack on an amendment to a bill in the Indiana General Assembly which would do away with jail time for people caught possessing small amounts of marijuana.

The Republican members of the state senate refused to permit consideration of the amendment, saying it was not germane.

To be clear, Tallian was not calling for the legalization of marijuana, not exactly anyway. But if it becomes a non jailable offense, that inches us one step closer down that purple-hazed pathway.

She chided the GOP members of the senate for not allowing her amendment to be at least voted on.

“For many decades, this body has taken every opportunity to block this discussion,” Tallian said in a news release put out by state senate Democrats. “In those years, our surrounding states have moved forward on the issue of marijuana, either by allowing medical use, stopping arrests or fully legalizing the plant. Once again, Indiana Republican legislators dodged the clear will of 78% of Hoosiers.”

The clunky release did not say where it came up with that 78% figure, but I’m guessing it didn’t come from a conservative polling of the heartland of the state.

The release, sent in email form, also included a button to be pushed if a picture of Tallian was requested. When one pushes that button, however, one receives an error message which is fitting enough.

Tallian, apparently, wants us all to fall in to the peer pressure of our surrounding states. I’m not sure how such an argument falls on the political scale, but not caving into peer pressure is something I still stress with my children.

The issue is about tolerance.

Not the good type of tolerance in which people are accepted for who they are. But the lazy, give-up attitude sort of tolerance which requires the incremental lowering of standards to prevent perceived conflict.

Lower those incremental standards long enough, and we won’t have standards at all.

Just because everybody else is doing it doesn’t make it right.

Police say marijuana is a gateway drug. A striking number of people who are booked into local jails with methamphetamine possession charges are often found with marijuana also.

Smoking marijuana doesn’t mean someone will begin smoking methamphetamine, but too many times those two drugs are found together.

Marijuana prescribed for medical purposes is another kettle of fish, of course. There are medicinal values to be found in the drug.

But if the opioid crisis has taught us anything, our medical industry need some work when it comes to the appropriate dispensation of drugs.

I fear too many people would get their medical weed prescription and then get behind the wheel and drive under the influence.

Maybe if the pro-marijuana groups would fund research into a testing system police could use for THC levels, it would be easier to swallow.

Let’s collectively hold our breaths until that happens.

Until it does, let’s be more tolerant of people, and less tolerant of doing things that could be potentially harmful to people and innocent bystanders.

Matt Getts writes an occasional column for this newspaper. He can be reached at

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