Cannabis Legalization Bill put forward in Pennsylvania
Senate Bill 846 has been introduced in Pennsylvania which aims to legaise cannabis in a bis to generate tax revenue and create new jobs.
The bill – introduced by Sens. Dan Laughlin (R-49) and Sharif Street (D-3) – addresses safety by setting the minimum cannabis consumption age at 21 years old.
It would also enable law enforcement to adjudicate driving under the influence would be and eradicate illicit markets, and would implement a ban on cannabis marketing directed toward children. Workplace requirements regarding cannabis use for all those operating in good faith would also be established.
In a statement, Laughlin commented: “Legalised adult use of marijuana is supported by an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians and this legislation accomplishes that while also ensuring safety and social equity.
“With neighboring states New Jersey and New York implementing adult use, we have a duty to Pennsylvania taxpayers to legalise adult-use marijuana to avoid losing out on hundreds of millions of dollars of new tax revenue and thousands of new jobs.”
The bill also considers social equity and has provisions for licenses to be granted to social and economic equity applicants to sell cannabis, while providing room for new and existing licensees to ensure demand in Pennsylvania is met according to Laughlin.
In light of Biden’s announcement calling for states to expunge people with previous cannabis convictions, Senate Bill 846 would also enable the expungement of non-violent cannabis convictions for all non-violent cannabis convictions.
Street added: “We have a unique and singular opportunity to correct decades of mass incarceration, disproportionate enforcement against marginalised communities, the criminalisation of personal choice and the perpetuation of violence, which all materialised from the failed war on drugs.
“Legalising the adult use of cannabis will help us fully and equitably fund education, lower property taxes, and address a variety of community needs throughout Pennsylvania.”