Two senators in Pennsylvania have drafted a bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state, and they are now seeking cosponsors for their initiative.
State Sen. Sharif Street (D-Philadelphia) and Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery) have drafted the bill that reads like a dream come true for any marijuana advocate.
The bill intends to allow adults who are 21 or older to grow a maximum of six mature cannabis plants at home for their own use.
Home delivery of marijuana and its products will also be legal if the bill is enacted.
While it would be illegal to consume cannabis in public, the legislators included provisions that would permit the opening of marijuana consumption lounges where adults can go and indulge.
SB 350 goes further to suggest that not only will minor marijuana convictions and arrests be expunged from people’s criminal records, all individuals on similar charges who are serving time in Pennsylvania jails will be released as well. This goes far beyond what other states have done after legalizing recreational weed.
The bill also touches on where the tax revenue from recreational marijuana will be spent. Sens. Sharif and Leach propose that most of the taxes collected from the industry should go to revamping the public schools in the state.
The taxes generated may be considerable if the projected $600 million in sales for the first year materializes and increases in the subsequent years.
Some of the states that have legalized recreational marijuana have failed to invest cannabis taxes in social services because the funds went to meeting the costs of regulation and law enforcement.
The Pennsylvania Senators want to change that trend by including provisions on tax expenditure in the cannabis law so that there will be no risk of diverting the tax revenue to other expenditure areas.
Senator Sharif Street explains that the legalization of marijuana would help to address the opioid crisis in the state. He cites research data from other states showing that opioid use has reduced by about 33 percent after the legalization of medical marijuana.
While Gov. Tom Wolf is cautiously supportive of cannabis legalization, not everyone is ecstatic about the possibility.
For example, Jake Corman, the Republican Majority Leader in the Senate, says legalizing marijuana is “reckless and irresponsible.” He has gone further to vow that he will do whatever he can to stop any legalization bill from passing.
Cannabis advocates therefore have their work cut out for them if they want to see the bill become law. Therma Bright, Inc. (TSX.V: THRM) (OTC: THRBF) and TransCanna Holdings Inc. (CSE: TCAN) look forward to hearing vibrant debates about the issues related to cannabis legalization before a decision is made for the good of all Pennsylvanians.
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