A push to legalize marijuana across Pa. by 2 Philadelphia-area lawmakers

Justin Udo
October 16, 2019 - 6:19 pm
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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — There's a push to legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania, and two Philadelphia-area state senators are working together in an effort to do just that.

Pennsylvania State Sen. Daylin Leach recently introduced a bill to legalize recreational marijuana across the Commonwealth.

"The goal is to end prohibition which is a heartless, cruel, irrational policy, and replace it with a responsible, sustainable protocol," Leach said. 

The Democrat who represents Montgomery County says the criminalization of marijuana does more harm than help.

"Every day that prohibition is in effect is a day of injustice for a lot of people in Pennsylvania," he added. 

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The bill is cosponsored by Philadelphia Rep. Sharif Street, who says legalized marijuana is good business for the state.

"We anticipate that this would generate, based on the auditor general report, $600 million revenue and propose a tax level that be sufficient to generate revenue, but lowest enough to not encourage a persistent black market," Street said.

Street adds they also want to use this as a chance to right what he calls wrongs in the criminal justice system.

"If you're poor and black or brown or in neighborhoods where those people tend to live, you're more likely to be subject to a criminal sanction for using a product that others use with relative impunity," Street said. 

Street likes the bill's chances of getting signed into law.

"I'm confident it's not a question on whether we will pass this legislation, but when," he added.

If passed, the bill would legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and over.