Will Pennsylvania Leaglize Marijuana?

Although several states   have legalized the use and possession of marijuana under certain conditions,   pot is still illegal in Pennsylvania. This means folks in Bucks County and   throughout the entire state may still face serious legal consequences if they   are caught with marijuana.

Despite marijuana being   illegal throughout most of the U.S., there are still many Americans who use   marijuana. In Pennsylvania alone, more than 24,000 people were arrested in   2006 for marijuana-related crimes. The Office of National Drug Control Policy   claims that taxpayers paid about $325.36 million for these arrests and other   costs associated with the alleged drug crimes.

With thousands of people   being arrested and millions being spent on marijuana-related arrests each   year in the state, citizens and lawmakers have often considered whether it   would be better to just legalize marijuana and regulate the substance like   alcohol in order to avoid wasting taxpayers’ dollars and law enforcement   officers’ time and efforts. Although it may be awhile yet before Pennsylvania   even considers legalizing marijuana, one lawmaker has recently stated that he   plans to introduce a bill to legalize marijuana in the state.

Democrat State Sen.   Daylin Leach announced that he plans to introduce a bill that would legalize   the use of marijuana in Pennsylvania. The bill would only make it legal for   residents who are 21 or older to possess and smoke marijuana. The lawmaker   said that he believes legalizing marijuana will not only allow folks to   purchase safer forms of the substance, but it could also reduce wasteful   spending of taxpayers’ dollars.

If the bill is ever   passed, residents could still face criminal charges for marijuana-related   offenses. For example, folks could face criminal charges for driving under   the influence of marijuana or for selling marijuana to those who are under   the age of 21. It will certainly be interesting to see what comes of the   lawmaker’s plans to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania. We will be sure to   revisit this topic on our blog when more developments occur.

Source: CBS Pittsburgh, “Pa. Senator Introduces Bill To Legalize Marijuana,”   Jan. 10, 2013

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