Donald Trump’s pick for Vice President is no friend of marijuana.
While governor of Indiana, Pence refused to accept lowered marijuana possession penalties in House Bill 1006 (2013), and refused to sign the measure until cannabis possession was bumped back up to a Class B misdemeanor.
The Indiana government ultimately passed a reduction in penalty for marijuana possession – a B misdemeanor instead of the previous A, and second simple possession convictions are no longer an automatic felony.
The changes still reflect a heavy-handed legal approach to marijuana possession. Where more and more states are reducing penalties (or removing them all together) for getting caught with small, personal-use amounts of cannabis, Indiana seems frozen in time.
“I think we need to focus on reducing crime, not reducing penalties,” Pence said in a 2013 press release of keeping small amounts of cannabis a serious crime.
Pence also said recently “global warming is a myth,” and cigarette “smoking doesn’t kill.”
His website once declared that a government large “enough to go after smokers is big enough to go after you,” in defense of the tobacco industry (which paid him more than $100,000 in campaign donations). Many detractors feel Pence should take his own advice on the issue of marijuana.