A Pennsylvania legislator has introduced a bill that would legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults. The proposed legislation (HB 50), which would amend the state’s Medical Marijuana Act, has 26 co-sponsors, as well as supporters in the Senate.
The bill’s sponsor, Representative Jake Wheatley, the Democratic representative from the 19th District around Pittsburgh, says it is “a bold call to move Pennsylvania onto the right side of history and into the 21st century.” The proposal comes as nearby states like New Jersey and New York are taking steps to legalize marijuana.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has already indicated that he would consider approving such legislation if it reached his desk. Meanwhile, Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman has announced a statewide listening tour in which he says he wants to hear what residents throughout the state have to say on the matter.
Some Pennsylvania cities, including Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, no longer prosecute minor marijuana-related offenses. However, as one state senator who supports the proposed legislation says, “The legalization of adult-use cannabis and the end of cannabis prohibition will free up law enforcement resources we need in a way that goes beyond what mere decriminalization would do.”
Proponents of the legislation also point to the positive impact of marijuana legalization on the state’s economy. The state’s auditor general has said that the taxes on legal cannabis could bring over $580 million in added revenue to Pennsylvania. Representative Wheatley says that money could be used for things like after-school programs and affordable housing. He also says that the state’s struggling farmers could “save their family farms by converting their crops.”
It’s essential to remember that recreational marijuana is still illegal under state and federal law, regardless of individual cities’ prosecutorial priorities. If you have been arrested for a marijuana-related offense, it is essential to take the matter seriously. A conviction could have a serious impact on your life. It’s wise to seek experienced legal guidance. Contact us at the Quinn Law Firm by calling 814-833-2222.