|Posted:||May 19, 2023 02:15 PM|
|From:||Senator Daniel Laughlin and Sen. Sharif Street|
|To:||All Senate members|
|Subject:||A Bipartisan and Regulated Approach to Adult Use Marijuana Legalization in Pennsylvania|
|In the near future, we will be introducing a bipartisan approach to legalize adult use marijuana in Pennsylvania. Adult use of marijuana is supported by two-thirds of Pennsylvanians and has majority support in rural, suburban, and urban legislative districts.
The bill will improve upon our proposal from last session, Senate Bill 473.
This bipartisan approach is grounded in safety and social equity. This legislation addresses safety by setting the minimum marijuana consumption age at 21 years old and provides the appropriate deterrence to keep marijuana out of the hands of anyone under 21. It provides law enforcement the means to adjudicate driving under the influence and the authority to pursue and eradicate any illicit market. Furthermore, our bill bans any marketing directed toward children. The bill will provide workplace requirements regarding marijuana use for all those operating in good faith.
Additionally, it would allow Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana patients to grow a limited number of cannabis plants from their home for personal use to help ease the cost and accessibility burdens that still exist for this important medicine.
To address social equity, the legislation grants licenses to social and economic equity applicants while providing room for new and existing licensees to ensure demand in Pennsylvania is met. Moreover, it expunges non-violent marijuana convictions for medical marijuana patients, which has also been championed in a bipartisan fashion, and goes further to expunge all non-violent marijuana convictions.
To further strengthen Pennsylvania's robust agricultural industry, the proposal empowers farmers and craft growers across the Commonwealth to engage in the cultivation of marijuana in a manner that is safe and regulated.
New Jersey and New York have implemented adult use. It is our duty to taxpayers to seize the initiative and legalize marijuana concurrently with bordering states. Failure to do so risks permanently ceding hundreds of millions of dollars of new tax revenue as well as thousands of jobs at a time when taxpayers can least afford it. In February 2021 Appropriations hearings, the Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office projected the legalization of marijuana for adult use will generate $400 million to $1 billion in new tax revenue for the Commonwealth.
Please join us in co-sponsoring a bipartisan and regulated approach to the legalization of adult use marijuana.
Introduced as SB846