“I think people should be able to use marijuana if there’s a legitimate medicinal benefit.”
Indiana Man Planning Walk To Indianapolis For Medical Marijuana Legislation Awareness – Government officials in and around Gary know of Jim Nowacki, a one-time Chicago resident who lives in Gary and often is a government critic.
By sometime next week, Nowacki expects to be in Indianapolis, lobbying in the Statehouse in favor of medical marijuana.
Nowacki, who does not own an automobile, said he plans to make the trip to Indianapolis on foot.
Planning on a pace of about 30 miles per day, Nowacki, 62, said he will leave the former downtown Gary office building of the Northern Indiana Public Service Co. on Broadway at 6 a.m. Sunday, and said he expects it could take about five days to complete the trip.
“I’ll admit it, walking there is in part to gain publicity, but the issue is serious,” Nowacki said. “I think people should be able to use marijuana if there’s a legitimate medicinal benefit.”
Who Is Supporting Legalization?
Other organizations, including Higher Fellowship and Hoosier Veterans for Medical Cannabis, have plans to urge Indiana lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis. David Phipps and others with Higher Fellowship began in the spring to travel to one of Indiana’s 92 counties each week to hold rallies in support of medical marijuana.
Voters in four states legalized medical cannabis in the November election, and Illinois and Michigan already passed their own programs. Ohio is in the process of setting up its own program after lawmakers legalized it in the state this year.
The Lake County Council narrowly passed a resolution, proposed by Councilman Jamal Washington, D-Merrillville, in September saying it would support the state legislature considering a law allowing medical marijuana use.
For years, state Sen. Karen Tallian, D-Portage, has drafted marijuana legalization bills, and in more recent years, she specifically has tailored them for medical marijuana. Going into the next session, Tallian said she again plans to propose a program.
Medical Marijuana Needed In Indiana
Nowacki said that all too often, people in Indiana trying to gain access to marijuana for their personal relief are forced to resort to sources that have a criminal tinge.
“I don’t think anyone should have to go through that kind of experience,” Nowacki said, who said it has been about 35 years since he last used marijuana.
Nowacki has been walking more to Hammond, Crown Point and Hobart to build endurance, but he said he twice before walked from Gary to Indianapolis. On those occasions, he was trying to get the state legislature to intervene with the Gary Community School Corp. to retain old paintings that used to be in now-shuttered schools.
Nowacki said he has talked about his walk with now-retired Gary Sen. Earline Rogers and newcomer Eddie Melton, both of whom he said offered to introduce him to people at the Statehouse. Nowacki also expects to run into some hostile reactions.
Common Council President Ronald Brewer, who often spars verbally with Nowacki over issues, shook his head “no” when asked if he thought Nowacki would be able to influence legislators.
“He gets so very aggressive when talking to people about his issues,” Brewer said.
As for his walk, Nowacki would not specify his route, except to say it will sort of follow Interstate 65. He expects to pass through Roselawn, Rensselaer, Lafayette and Lebanon before reaching Indianapolis.
Source: Gregory Tejeda- Post Tribune