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Lawmaker introduces bill to legalize Marijuana use in PA-What are your thoughts?

Posted by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 11:04 AM
  • 10 Replies

Lawmaker introduces bill to legalize marijuana in Pa.

HARRISBURG — Bammy, chillums, funk or cheeba. No matter what you call marijuana, a Montgomery County state lawmaker wants it to be legal in Pennsylvania.

Sen. Daylin Leach said he is introducing a bill that would legalize pot for all purposes.

If approved by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Tom Corbett — a possibility that seems as hazy as the smoke from a well-lit joint — Leach said you would have to be at least 21 to toke up.

“Medicinal, recreational, whatever you want to use it for,” the suburban Philadelphia Democrat said.

If signed into law, Pennsylvania would follow Washington and Colorado as the states that have legalized the recreational use of the controversial drug. Eighteen other states allow the use of marijuana for medical treatments. Federal law still renders pot smoking as an illegal activity.

Leach said it would be illegal to drive a vehicle while under the influence of pot, if his bill becomes law. Pennsylvanians also would be barred from “blowing a stick” in public.

If it sounds similar to the way Pennsylvania deals with alcohol, Leach confirmed that and said people would have to buy marijuana in a state store.

“We already have an infrastructure of facilities that are around the state that are used to checking ID, that are used to dealing with intoxicants, that are used to collecting taxes,” Leach said.

Washington’s liquor control board will oversee marijuana sales when the stuff hits the shelves in December.

And, just as people are allowed to brew beer at home, pot smokers also would be allowed to grow up to six cannabis plants, with only three of them flowering at one time. You could also share your home-grown broccoli with someone else, as long as he or she is at least 21 years old.

Leach said the state’s prohibition against marijuana is a “cruel, irrational policy” that improperly treats its users as criminals.

“These are people who’ve done no harm to any other person. They’ve done no harm to property. They’ve breached the peace in no way,” he said.

In arguing his case for the legalization of pot, the senator said marijuana is less dangerous than alcohol or tobacco. A psychiatrist from the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Jersey agreed.

“In several respects, even sugar poses more of a threat to our nation’s public health than marijuana,” said Dr. David Nathan, a fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

“Alcohol causes severe impairment of judgment, which results in violence, drunk driving, risky sexual behavior and the use of harder drugs. Pot may cause harm, but the harm it causes is far less than that of alcohol,” Nathan said Monday afternoon during a press conference in the state’s Capitol.

Besides, said Leach, a person cannot kill themselves by smoking too much pot.

“You can sit down and drink 10, 20 shots and you can overdose and you can die,” Leach said.

Nathan, however, did say the chronic use of cannabis can stir low motivation and poor grades in school if a user starts smoking as an adolescent.

“But these dangers pale in comparison to the perils of alcohol, which is associated with pancreatitis, gastritis, cirrhosis, permanent dementia and physiological dependence,” Nathan said.

The White House, however, said the downward trend of marijuana usage in 12- to 17-year-olds has ended and more than 370,000 people go to the emergency room “with a primary marijuana problem.”

The Obama administration says marijuana use is associated with mental illness, distorted perceptions, depression, suicidal thoughts and schizophrenia. It also says pot smoke has 50-70 percent more carcinogens than tobacco smoke.

In a state that needs new sources of revenue, Leach said, legalized marijuana could generate “hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars.”

He also said it would save prosecutors millions of dollars more. In 2006, he said nearly 25,000 pot-related arrests were made in Pennsylvania. The price tag for that effort, citing Office of National Drug Control Policy: $325 million.

Opponents to legalizing marijuana, like the president, say the social costs would outweigh new tax revenue gains

by on Feb. 12, 2013 at 11:04 AM
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MichelleMc
by Representative on Feb. 12, 2013 at 11:46 AM

I go back & forth on this all the time.

I know some people that smoke pot on a normal basis,there are for sure long term effects. So they for it, can say there aren't, but there are just as many that they say there are. It lasts more than a couple hours, companies are still not going to accept that it is not illegal ( or they better not ). I sadly had to work with a pot head. It was a nightmare. He was useless. He couldn't work, he couldn't function. He couldn't answer questions, he couldn't stay on task, he couldn't remember what he was to do, then into he didn't care, had no work ethic. He passed the drug test to get hired because he knew how long to hold off, but then once hired, he got high on a regular basis.

On making money, well, living in a state where gambling was to bring in tons of revenue, til the governor stole it all ( Connecticut ) So, you never know if it will or won't, where it will go, how it will work, etc.

On it will cut back on saving millions on prosecutors, no it won't. Because under age will still do it, people will still grow more than they are to. They will still sale it illegal, it won't be allowed to sold on the corner or thru drug dealers, they aren't just going to stop when it is made legal. So, come on.

TerriC
by Terri on Feb. 12, 2013 at 1:38 PM
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I will probably get grief for this, but I say go for it.  People are going to get it anyway, why shouldn't the state make some money off of it.

SahmTam
by Tammy on Feb. 12, 2013 at 4:10 PM

 

Quoting MichelleMc:

I go back & forth on this all the time.

I know some people that smoke pot on a normal basis,there are for sure long term effects. So they for it, can say there aren't, but there are just as many that they say there are. It lasts more than a couple hours, companies are still not going to accept that it is not illegal ( or they better not ). I sadly had to work with a pot head. It was a nightmare. He was useless. He couldn't work, he couldn't function. He couldn't answer questions, he couldn't stay on task, he couldn't remember what he was to do, then into he didn't care, had no work ethic. He passed the drug test to get hired because he knew how long to hold off, but then once hired, he got high on a regular basis.

On making money, well, living in a state where gambling was to bring in tons of revenue, til the governor stole it all ( Connecticut ) So, you never know if it will or won't, where it will go, how it will work, etc.

On it will cut back on saving millions on prosecutors, no it won't. Because under age will still do it, people will still grow more than they are to. They will still sale it illegal, it won't be allowed to sold on the corner or thru drug dealers, they aren't just going to stop when it is made legal. So, come on.

 I go back and forth, too- for the same reasons. So, ditto.

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steelcrazy
by Representative on Feb. 12, 2013 at 4:55 PM

I am perfectly fine with it.  Maraijuana isn't much different than regular cigarettes, so I'm not sure why it is illegal.  Not to mention that if it is legalized, then the state will get some much needed tax money from the sale of it.

tazmidgiefairy
by Representative on Feb. 12, 2013 at 5:40 PM
I say make it legal it does help people
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vallhk
by vals6pack on Feb. 12, 2013 at 9:38 PM

Idk, I don't have experience with it but do agree, they will find a way to get it either way

Nuliod
by New Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 9:51 AM

 being born and raised in CA, also having a medical prescription for marijuana while living in CA, I am obviously for this. The state makes money, jobs are created, and jail cells are reserved for hard criminals, not over crowded by people carrying a gram on them.

BradnonsMom
by Member on Feb. 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Isn't it bad enough that children/teens are smoking marijuana (and doing other drugs) while it is illegal? But who cares, right? Why not make it legal? Why not just tell today's youth, I don't care if you learn anything or amount to anything in life. Just go out and have fun. More and more teens will think, Hey, if the adults can do it, so can we.

Are there no personal values, goals, morals left in the world? Is money all we care about? Laugh all you want, but I support the, Just Say No, slogan. Say No to drugs, Say No to violence, say No to premarital sex. That's what I teach my son. Not only because I am a Christian, but because I want my son to have success in life now and in the future.

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MichelleMc
by Representative on Feb. 13, 2013 at 12:51 PM

They just brought it to the supreme court & it again was knocked down because it can't be proved that it actually has medical use. It is "thought" to, but it still can't be proven. More of a mind over matter, versus a true proven fact. That is why the Federal gov't won't make it legal, but it is going to the states. But it has been shown to cause short term memory loss & racing heart, which duh, LOL. 

But again, I don't see Drug Dealers going, dude its legal, so we are going to stop selling it. I don't see the revenue actually going where it should. I don't see prosecutors time cut down, jail time cut down. It might stop Joe from the gram in his pocket ( which why the hell are you carrying it around to begin with? Gosh. ) But, It is still going to cause issues. 

But it is going to cause more issues with teens wanting to use it "early". Well its legal at 21, so why can't I smoke it at 16? My gosh they smoke it enough now. Screws up their lives on horrible basis now. Messes with their choices already. So lets just say, GO FOR IT. 21, they won't even be done with college, if they get there.

The more I waiver with no. I can't see the good in it. 

cjsbmom
by on Feb. 17, 2013 at 10:02 AM

Really? Do you really believe that? You can't become impaired to the point you can't drive or function properly on cigarettes. But you can when you smoke pot. It's not the same, and I really get irritated when people say that as justification for legalizing it. It would be like saying drinking 12 beers is the same as drinking 12 cans of Coke. 

Quoting steelcrazy:

I am perfectly fine with it.  Maraijuana isn't much different than regular cigarettes, so I'm not sure why it is illegal.  Not to mention that if it is legalized, then the state will get some much needed tax money from the sale of it.


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