HARRISBURG, Pa. (KDKA) – Add Pennsylvania to the list of states where residents could be allowed to possess and smoke marijuana legally.
Democrat State Sen. Daylin Leach, who represents Montgomery and Delaware counties, announced plans to introduce legislation that would legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania.
The bill would legalize marijuana for adults over the age of 21, and regulated just like alcohol is. It would still be illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, behave badly while publicly intoxicated, or sell pot to minors.
According to Leach, “Like alcohol, legalization and regulation will make marijuana safer. People will no longer have to buy it on the streets from criminals who may have laced their product with other dangerous drugs. People buying legally will know exactly what they are getting and be able to rely on the safety of what they are purchasing.”
A press release from Leach’s office says that according to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in 2006, an average year, 24,685 marijuana arrests were made in Pennsylvania at a cost to the taxpayers of $325.36 million. Leach says “each year we not only waste a similar amount, we leave several hundred million dollars on the table in taxes that we do not collect because marijuana is illegal, rather than regulated and taxed.”
Governor Tom Corbett has been opposed to legalizing marijuana, even for medicinal purposes.
Senator Leach says, “This horrific policy must end. People around the nation are realizing that. And it is a moral imperative that Pennsylvania wake up and end prohibition now.”