Cannabis legalization: something needs to change

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Cannabis legalization Rally
Left to right: Libertarian Party of Indiana Vice Chair Erin Pyle, Indianapolis radio host Rob Kendall, and LP of Indiana Political Director Jared Hall at the NORML rally held in Indianapolis on April 20th 2019.

Members and supporters of Indiana NORML held a rally to support cannabis legalization outside the residence of Governor Eric Holcomb on Saturday April 20th. The event was dedicated to the memory of 6-year-old Charly Curtis. Charly died in February from complications arising from seizures – seizures that legazlization advocates believe could have been prevented with cannabis-derived treatments.

Below is the transcript of a speech given at the rally by Libertarian Party of Indiana Political Director Jared Hall .

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First, I want to say thank you to all the individuals and families that have come out today to have your voices heard.

My name is Jared Hall and as the Libertarian Party of Indiana Political Director, I strongly support the use of cannabis for medicinal and recreational purposes. The Libertarian Party platform states that: “Individuals own their bodies and have rights over them that other individuals, groups, and governments may not violate. Individuals have the freedom and responsibility to decide what they knowingly and voluntarily consume, and what risks they accept to their own health, finances, safety, or life.”

In other words, government shouldn’t control what people ingest, either recreationally or as a medicine.

But with 80% of Hoosiers supporting the legalization of medicinal cannabis, it’s apparent that this is no longer a Republican or Democrat matter. While the Libertarian Party has always supported the decriminalization of cannabis in all its forms since its inception in 1971, this is also no longer a Libertarian matter.

This is a matter of what is plainly the right thing to do. It’s about compassion and letting people have access to the medications that can both alleviate their pains and anxieties, but can also potentially save their life. This is about changing hearts and minds with our stories.

Stories are powerful. If you need any proof of this, just look around you today. Some of us were brought together by the story of a small child. We’ve rallied together because of a child who was denied the treatment they needed because of a weak-minded and fearful government.

This is about my friend Caroline who suffers from a seizure disorder that severely impacts her ability to work and help provide for her three young children. This is about my friend Justin who, as a combat veteran in Afghanistan, suffers from PTSD. This is about us, all of us here today, coming together to prevent any more people from dying from a lack of access to the appropriate medicine and medical care of their choosing.

Something needs to change. People who are not at their best cannot give their best back to their communities. When we lack access to the medicine and healthcare we want, need, and deserve, we become complacent. We do not participate in civic matters, the workforce, or furthering our education when we feel hopeless. We can no longer sit by and watch as our friends, our brothers and sisters, our mothers, our fathers, and even our children suffer through debilitating disorders or illnesses when we know there is a way to help alleviate the burden placed on their lives. For too long, government has intervened in the barring of our medical choices. When government picks and chooses winners based on how much money someone brings to the table and not what is best for those whom they govern, we all lose.

And this is why we are here today: to fight for the medical freedoms that we and our families deserve. I repeat. SOMETHING NEEDS TO CHANGE.

Together we will see this through.

Thank you.

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