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Legalization | 02.08.2022

Talks Of Legalizing Recreational Cannabis In Pennsylvania Are Finally Here

In a first-ever discussion, a Pennsylvania Senate committee is looking to legalize recreational cannabis.

Conversations around legalizing cannabis for recreational use in Pennsylvania are popping up left and right, but what’s changing the game are the first-ever conversations on the matter taking place during a legislative hearing held by a Pennsylvania Senate committee, like the one on Monday.

What’s just as refreshing is the forthcoming bill will be crafted and sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Regan. He will represent parts of York and Cumberland counties and is currently the chair of the Pennsylvania Senate committee. Alongside Rep. Amen Brown (D-190), the two will try and persuade other Republicans to support the bill to legalize recreational cannabis in the state. 

Law enforcement officials like York County District Attorney and Dauphin County’s chief county detective Dave Sunday, among others, made their views known to state senators at the hearing, though we’re not entirely sure whether that was for or against. According to 8 WGAL, Regan has said that legalizing recreational cannabis would produce products “that’s a lot safer than what’s out there now.” The purchasing process would also be “a lot safer.”

Photo by Darrell Sapp / Post-Gazette

Brown was also focused on making it clear that Pennsylvania’s black market is unsafe and the cannabis sold here could be laced with far more dangerous drugs, he said at a Senate Law & Justice Committee meeting. Safety is a top priority for Brown, but he also hopes to funnel the revenue from legalization back into the state’s communities.

With the money from pot legalization, Brown said, “I’m focusing on fully funding after-school programs and summer camps and things of that nature,” reports 8 WGAL. Although all seems promising, it truly wouldn’t be an attempt to legalize cannabis without some restrain from other leaders.

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Other Republican leaders say cannabis legalization is not a priority, especially with the raised concern of more high drivers on the roads. From the Pennsylvania Chiefs of Police Association, Scott Bohn told 8 WGAL that recreational pot is a concern “not only for our traveling populous but certainly our children as well.”

Another senator is drafting a second bill that would also make recreational cannabis legal; Sen. Dan Laughlin (R-49) said that Regan’s hearing on Monday was the perfect start. However, Regan’s bill is a tad different than Laughlin’s as the latter believes growing cannabis at home should be on the legalization bill, but Regan is still debating whether it’s a necessity. 

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