By Michael Morrill (Contact)
To be delivered to: The Pennsylvania State House, The Pennsylvania State Senate, and Governor Tom Corbett
State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) has legislation that will allow marijuana to be grown and sold legally in PA.
“The modern prohibition of marijuana does a disservice to Pennsylvania by tying up our resources in the prosecution of its users; by depriving us of the revenue that this marijuana could generate; and by denying the Pennsylvanians suffering from terminal illnesses access to a natural medicine that could take away their pain,” Leach said. “It’s time we legalize marijuana and reap the benefits it has to offer.”
What benefits could we reap?
• Money to balance the state budget. Based on national figures, there is at least $3.4 billion in illegal sales of marijuana in PA each year. If we legalized it and taxed it at 6% it would generate $200 million. If we sold it in the State Wine and Spirit Shoppes, we could generate another $680 million with a 20% markup.
• Fewer people in prison, lower costs for taxpayers. Approximately 25,000 citizens are arrested annually in Pennsylvania for marijuana-related offenses, at a cost of some $325 million dollars.
• Legal access to a widely used medicine. Marijuana has legitimate medicinal uses and should be available to those who need it without risking arrest or dealing with underworld criminals.
• A lucrative cash crop for PA farmers. Those who choose to grow marijuana will have a crop that can reap great profits.
• An end to organized dealing in marijuana. Marijuana is the number money-maker for organized crime. Legalizing ends their participation in its trafficking and the associated violence.
And that’s just the beginning.
It’s time to end the hypocrisy, help to balance our state budget and end the 21st century version of Prohibition.
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