PA Senators Introduce Legalized Recreational Marijuana Bill

Morgan Taylor, Centurion Staff

Democratic Senators Daylin Leach and Sharif Street submitted the Adult Use Cannabis bill on Oct.15, a bill that would legalize recreational marijuana use for adults 21 and over across Pennsylvania, raising $500 million in tax dollars to schools in Pennsylvania.
If the proposed bill is passed into law, this would make Pennsylvania the 11th state to legalize the purchase, distribution and use of marijuana.
The bill has several other benefits, including expunging marijuana related crimes from one’s record. As well as lessening sentences for anyone who is incarcerated for marijuana related charges.
The bill also gives anyone 21 and over the right to grow up to 10 cannabis plants on their property. People could also bring their own marijuana to permitted social use lounges located next to dispensaries under the proposed bill. As reported in Newsweek, the new bill is already gaining support.
When asked about the proposed bill, Hailey Birkett, 20, a business administration major at Bucks replied she was all for it.
“I think it would definitely be beneficial, because it can keep a lot of people out of prison and help the government at the same time. For one, you would most likely have to buy a medical card, and there is a tax on medical marijuana,” said Hailey Birkett.
Halle McCall, 19, a business major, was also in favor of the new bill.
“I agree with this new bill completely, mostly because it will get people to stop buying marijuana products that aren’t properly tested. In my opinion it is the whole reason behind these ‘deadly’ THC carts,” she said.
There have been multiple cases across the country where young adults, who are vaping tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that were bought off the black market, have contracted severe illnesses. These illnesses have resembled sever acute pulmonary disease where breathing is difficult and the oxygen in the blood stream suddenly drops.
When a person smokes marijuana, THC quickly passes from the lungs to the blood stream. This will distort the users sense of time, impact their motor skills, and make driving more dangerous. Users’ inhibitions are lowered, and can lead to clinical depression according to WebMD.
Christopher Hackbart, 20, a physical education major, is in favor of passing the bill, but with an exception. “I think it should be legalized, but regulated like alcohol. Driving while under the influence of marijuana should remain illegal of course, as well as smoking in public,” he said.
One obstacle the bill faces is gaining the Republican Party’s support, who have control in the Senate. Many Republicans think this bill is disastrous as PA is already in an opioid epidemic.
The House Republican Leadership issued a statement to Governor Tom Wolf which said, “We do not believe easing regulations on illegal drugs is the right move in helping the thousands of Pennsylvanians who are battling drug addiction.”
Senators Leach and Street aren’t worried about receiving full support. In a statement made to the Philadelphia Inquirer, Leach said. “It’s an economic, political, and moral win for both sides. It keeps the black market tamped down, the $500 million generated in cannabis fees would be directed to the schools, it decreases regulation by eliminating the seed-to-sale tracking.”