Suzanne Crouch

Suzanne Crouch

Suzanne Crouch is a Republican member of the Indiana House of Representatives representing the 78th district where she has served since 2005.

Early life

Crouch graduated from Mater Dei High School in Evansville and received her Bachelor of Science degree from Purdue University, majoring in political science. Prior to her service in local government, Suzanne served as Vanderburgh County Republican Central Committee Chairman for 4 years. Under her chairmanship, a majority of Republicans were elected to County Council, the first time in 60 years that Republicans controlled that body.


Crouch was elected Vanderburgh County Auditor in 1994. During her two terms as Auditor, she established a reputation of fighting for government efficiency, responsiveness, accountability and accessibility. As Auditor, her office received, for the first time in decades, a clean bill of health every year from the State Board of Accounts.


In 2002, Suzanne was elected to the Vanderburgh County Board of Commissioners and served as President until the end of her term in 2005. She worked to televise weekly Commission meetings and by holding public hearings to seek the public's input on important issues. While serving as president, the Commissioners, for the first time ever, applied and received federal transportation dollars for a local road project.

State Representative

In 2005 the district 78 seat for state representative was vacated by Vaneta Becker, who had moved to the State Senate to fill the vacated seat of Greg Server. House District 78 contains parts of Spencer, Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. Portions of Evansville, as well as Newburgh, Richland, Hatfield, Darmstadt, and McCutchanville are within the borders of the district. Crouch was elected to fill the position in a caucus by precinct committeemen. She was appointed Vice Chairman of Public Health Committee in the state legislature. Crouch was challenged in the 2006 republican primary by conservative activist Jonathan Fulton but easily defeated him winning 63% of the vote.

Drug policy

alvia divinorum

On January 13, 2008 it was reported that State Representative Suzanne Crouch was proposing a bill that wants Indiana law rewritten to declare the psychoactive herb "Salvia divinorum" a Schedule 1 controlled substance. Crouch's proposal would make the manufacture, sale or possession with intent to deliver salvia a Class B felony, carrying a potential penalty of six to 20 years. The offense would be a Class A felony if the delivery or sale of "Salvia divinorum" were to someone under age 18, on a school bus or within 1,000 feet of school property, a park, family housing complex or youth program center. A conviction for a Class A felony would carry a 20- to 50-year sentence. The bill has not yet been assigned to a committee. [Corbin 2008-01-13 (US Media).]

Crouch was reported as saying - "The fact it has that kind of (hallucinogenic) reaction and is not illegal certainly caused me to look at it seriously".

An editorial published by the Evansville Courier & Press on January 15, 2008 asked - " Are the proposed penalties of decades in prison appropriate? It's easy to demand Draconian sentences, until it's your teenager who gets caught". It suggested that there were other, more pressing, concerns for Indiana's lawmakers during the 2008 legislative session, saying - "Crouch's bill instead should be referred to a study committee for hearings this summer, with an eye to considering it in the 2009 session. It's not as if we have an epidemic of salvia divinorum abuse that requires immediate action." [Evansville Courier & Press editorial 2008-01-15 (US Media).]

An online poll was conducted in connection with Indianapolis news channel's stories earlier in November 2007, asking the question - "Do you believe Indiana should regulate Salvia divinorum?" [Wallace 2007-11-26 (US Media).] A majority of 76% of the polls respondents were opposed to outright prohibition (59% preferring age regulations, and 17% no restrictions at all).

Opponents of extremely prohibitive Salvia restrictions argue that such reactions are largely due to an inherent prejudice and a particular cultural bias rather than any actual balance of evidence, pointing out inconsistencies in attitudes toward other more toxic and addictive drugs such as alcohol and nicotine. [#noteAlcohol| [i] [Nutt et al. 2007.] While not objecting to some form of regulatory legal control, in particular with regard to the sale to minors or sale of enhanced high-strength extracts, most Salvia proponents otherwise argue against stricter legislation. [#noteSalvia| [ii] [Siebert (Legal status).]


Alcohol related financial contributions featured highly for Representative Suzanne Crouch's 2006 political campaign. According to the National Institute on Money in State Politics, 'Beer, Wine & Liquor' was her eighth highest industry contributor. [MiSP 2006.]


  1. ^ The worldwide number of alcohol related deaths is calculated at over 2,000 people per day, [Lopez 2005, Table 2.] in the US the number is over 300 deaths per day. [NIAAA 2001.]
  2. ^ Those advocating consideration of Salvia divinorum's potential for beneficial use in a modern context argue that more could be learned from Mazatec culture, where Salvia is not really associated with notions of drug taking at all and it is rather considered as a spiritual sacrament. In light of this it is argued that Salvia divinorum could be better understood more positively as an entheogen rather than pejoratively as a hallucinogen. [Blosser (Mazatec Lessons).]



*cite web
last = Blosser
first = Brett
title = Lessons in The Use of Mazatec Psychoactive Plants
publisher = The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center
url =
accessdate = 2007-10-19

*cite journal
author = Lopez, Alan D
year = 2005
month = Apr
title = The evolution of the Global Burden of Disease framework for disease, injury and risk factor quantification: developing the evidence base for national, regional and global public health action
url =
journal = Globalization and Health
volume = 1
issue = 5
publisher = BioMed Central Ltd
doi = 10.1186/1744-8603-1-5
pmid = 15847690
pages = 5
- [ Table 2] . Global burden of disease and injury attributable to selected risk factors, 1990.

*cite web
author = MiSP
year = 2006
title = Follow the Money
url =
work = database search
publisher = The National Institute on Money in State Politics

*cite web
author = NIAAA
year = 2001
month = Aug
title = Number of deaths and age-adjusted death rates per 100,000 population for categories of alcohol-related (A-R) mortality, United States and States, 1979-96.
work = Database Resources / Statistical Tables
publisher = National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA)
url =

date=Mar 2007
title=Development of a rational scale to assess the harm of drugs of potential misuse
journal=The Lancet

*cite web
title=The Legal Status of Salvia divinorum
publisher=The Salvia divinorum Research and Information Center

News references

*cite news
author = editorial
title = Bill would make mind-altering plant illegal
url =
publisher = Evansville Courier and Press
date = 2008-01-15

*cite news
author = Corbin, Bryan
title = Crouch targets hallucinogenic drug
url =
publisher = Evansville Courier and Press
date = 2008-01-13

*cite news
author = Wallace, Todd
title = Indiana's Legal High: Teens Turned On To Powerful Drug
url =
work = Indianapolis News (6News)
publisher =
date = 2007-11-26
(story includes online poll).

External links

* [ Suzanne Crouch's campaign site]
* [ Suzanne Crouch's House webpage]

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

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