The Journal Gazette
Sunday, March 03, 2019 1:00 am

Keep pot illegal: College user Holcomb

NIKI KELLY and BRIAN FRANCISCO | The Journal Gazette

If you've ever wondered whether Gov. Eric Holcomb hit the reefer, the answer is yes.

While Holcomb was discussing his opposition to legalizing medical marijuana in Indiana on Wednesday, a reporter asked him whether he ever used marijuana.

He gave a definitive and quick yes – even though it's illegal. He followed up saying it occurred in college.

Another reporter asked if he had any plans to travel to Colorado, where recreational marijuana is legal – perhaps with Rep. Jim Lucas, R-Seymour, who has unabashedly talked about his visit to the state over the summer and how much pot he smoked there.

“No. I've been. I wasn't as happy as he is,” Holcomb said.

He quickly diverted the room to a new portrait in his office – one of Henry Holcomb, the governor's lovable miniature schnauzer. Artist Marilyn Evans painted the portrait, and it will hang in the governor's residence.

Praising Joe

A curious website surfaced a few weeks ago:

It was launched by former U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly's campaign to “honor the hard work and record of bipartisanship of then-Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) on behalf of Hoosiers.”

The website has some politicos wondering whether Donnelly has another office in his sights. The site documents Donnelly's achievements in the Senate, including more than 60 legislative provisions signed into law, hundreds of constituent casework successes and a wide range of in-state projects improving life in Indiana. A centerpiece of the site is the section documenting Donnelly's extensive work to support mental health and wellness for service members, veterans and law enforcement.

Joel Elliott, who was Donnelly's chief of staff, said: “Joe worked hard day-in and day-out for all Hoosiers for six years. That hard work led to numerous legislative successes that have improved and will continue to improve Hoosiers' lives. He would never say this himself, but he should be proud of his record of service to the State of Indiana.”

Councilmen urge hiring trash liaison

Five Fort Wayne City Council members signed a letter asking city officials to hire a part-time employee to handle issues related to trash collection.

The letter, circulated by Councilman Russ Jehl, R-2nd, asks officials with Mayor Tom Henry's administration to hire a temporary employee, to be paid out of fines collected from Red River Waste Solutions. That employee, if hired, would act as a liaison between city staff and 311 and follow up on calls received regarding missed trash collection.

Council members who signed onto the letter include Jehl, Paul Ensley, R-1st; Jason Arp, R-4th; Glynn Hines, D-6th; and John Crawford, R-at large.

It is unclear whether the city will accept Jehl's proposal.

Banks at CPAC

U.S. Rep. Jim Banks was a scheduled speaker at last week's Conservative Political Action Conference, a national convention of conservatives conducted yearly in suburban Washington, D.C.

Banks, R-3rd, participated Friday on a panel discussion about cyber warfare and psychological operations. He is a member of the House Armed Services Committee and an officer in the Navy Reserve.

Another Hoosier who spoke Friday was Vice President Mike Pence, who reportedly labeled Democrats as socialists for supporting single-payer universal health care and the proposed Green New Deal.

The convention is organized by the American Conservative Union.

Dave Gong of The Journal Gazette contributed to this column.

To reach Political Notebook by email, contact Brian Francisco at or Niki Kelly at An expanded Political Notebook can be found as a daily blog at

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