Community Issues

State Senators Announce Bill to Legalize Marijuana

Bill would allow recreational use in PA, but faces uphill climb. Find out how you can weigh in.

Two state senators have unveiled a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania.

The bill was introduced by Senators Daylin Leach and Sharif Street, both Democrats, and would permit anyone 21 and older to use recreational marijuana, and each household to grow up to six marijuana plants at a time for personal use. The bill would not allow marijuana use in public, but would permit businesses to allow use.

"An end to the prohibition of cannabis is overdue," Street said. "The economic imperatives are too great."

We also have a moral mandate to correct the damage that disparate enforcement of our marijuana laws has done and is still doing to communities across the commonwealth.

Senate Bill 350 stipulates tax revenue from the sales of marijuana would go towards public education. Additionally, all criminal convictions for possession of cannabis and possession with intent to deliver or delivery of under one ounce of cannabis would be expunged.

"We've had a cruel, irrational and expensive policy on cannabis for more than 80 years," Leach said. "Prohibition has destroyed countless lives and has cost our taxpayers millions of dollars."

The bill follows a similar bill introduced in the state House of Representatives last month, and comes while Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is on a 67-county listening tour to hear from state residents about marijuana legalization. That listening tour includes a stop in York County tonight.

Fetterman has previously supported legalization, telling KDKA: "I think there is just an enormous wealth of reasons why we should go full Colorado as I've campaigned on."

Gov. Tom Wolf had been more resistant to the idea but tweeted in December that it was time to take a "serious look" at legalizing recreational use in Pennsylvania.

Both the House and Senate bills face an uphill climb. Both chambers are controlled by Republicans, who have not publicly supported legalization.

You can click here to find out how to contact your elected representatives and share your thoughts on whether the recreational use of marijuana should be legalized.

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