A bill to legalize cannabis for adults was introduced in Pennsylvania last week. The bipartisan legislation would legalize cannabis possession and retail sales and includes expungement provisions for nonviolent cannabis criminal charges.
The measure was introduced in the Senate by Democratic Sen. Sharif Street and Republican Sen. Dan Laughlin.
In a press release, Street described the bill as a “singular opportunity to correct decades of mass incarceration, disproportionate enforcement against marginalized communities, the criminalization of personal choice, and the perpetuation of violence.”
“Legalizing the adult use of cannabis will help us fully and equitably fund education, lower property taxes, and address a variety of community needs throughout Pennsylvania,” Street said in a statement.
The measure includes an 8% sales tax and a 5% excise tax. The Pennsylvania Independent Fiscal Office has estimated that legal cannabis sales could generate between $400 million to $1 billion in new tax revenue for the state.
The measure includes safeguards on marketing toward children and gives law enforcement the means to adjudicate driving under the influence and the authority to pursue and eradicate any illicit market.
The measure also includes home grow provisions for medical cannabis patients.
The measure was referred to the Senate’s Law and Justice Committee on July 6. (Full Story)