Lawmakers propose bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania

Lawmakers propose bill to legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania

By Mike Gauntner

Two Pennsylvania lawmakers have introduced a bill that they say would legalize the recreational use of marijuana among adults in the commonwealth.

Allegheny County Democrats, State Reps. Jake Wheatley and Dan Frankel unveiled new legislation Tuesday to decriminalize, regulate and tax adult-use, recreational marijuana.

The bill would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to purchase and consume recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania.

“We’ve heard from residents across the state, and the overwhelming majority agree it’s time to pass this initiative,” said Wheatley, who first introduced similar legislation in 2017. “Not only would it create jobs and generate much-needed revenue, but it contains important social justice provisions that would eliminate the aggressive enforcement of simple marijuana possession laws in marginalized communities.”

House Bill 2050 would also establish multiple grant programs that would benefit small, minority, and women-owned businesses in Pennsylvania. These programs would be funded by revenue collected from marijuana sales tax.

“Failed cannabis policies of the past have resulted in the worst of all possible worlds: insufficient protection of the public health, aggressive enforcement that disproportionately harms communities of color, and zero revenue for this commonwealth,” said Frankel, who serves as the Democratic chair of the House Health Committee. “With this legislation, Pennsylvania can begin to repair the historical harms and reap the benefits of a fact-based approach to regulating the cultivation, commerce, and use of cannabis for adults over 21 years old.”

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