A candidate for an Indiana U.S. Senate seat revealed he consumed cannabis at two recent “Grateful Dead” concerts, the Associated Press reports. Thomas McDermott Jr., who is currently the mayor of Hammond and running to unseat Republican Todd Young in the 2022 Senate race, made the comments on his “Left of Center” podcast. He described the experience at the September shows at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois as “a lovely two days.”
McDermott is referring to Dead and Company, who are currently on tour. The Grateful Dead disbanded following the death of Jerry Garcia in 1996.
McDermott believes the pro-cannabis comments will not harm his campaign for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination, pointing out Indiana is missing out on the revenue and economic growth legalizing adult-use cannabis brought to neighboring Michigan and Illinois, and other legal states.
“Indiana is woefully behind on this. If I’m elected Indiana’s U.S. senator, I’m a vote to decriminalize, I’m a vote to legalize marijuana — and I will,” he said on the podcast. “And I can tell you, as a former public defender, the only people that are truly penalized with these marijuana laws are the poor that can’t hire lawyers and get out of this.”
Senator Young’s campaign has not commented on the mayor’s revelations. McDermott has been mayor of Lake County’s largest city, Hammond, since 2004, but is not very well known outside of Northwest Indiana.