(WJET/WFXP/YourErie.com)– A pair of Pennsylvania state senators announced that they will be introducing a new piece of bipartisan legislation to legalize marijuana use for Pennsylvania adults.
According to the release, the legislation from State Senators Dan Laughlin (R-49) and Sharif Street (D-3) would legalize marijuana use for people over the age of 21 in PA as well as allow medical patients to grow a limited number of marijuana plants for personal use.
Additionally, the bill would grant licenses to sell the drug to social and economic equity applicants as well as expunge all non-violent marijuana convictions.
In the release, Laughlin touted the popularity of legalizing marijuana, as well as the economic benefits that come with expanding the industry.
“Legalized adult use of marijuana is supported by an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians and this legislation accomplishes that while also ensuring safety and social equity,” said Laughlin. “With neighboring states New Jersey and New York implementing adult use, we have a duty to Pennsylvania taxpayers to legalize adult use marijuana to avoid losing out on hundreds of millions of dollars of new tax revenue and thousands of new jobs.”
Street called the legislation a unique opportunity to correct decades of mass incarceration, in addition to how beneficial the added tax revenue can be.
“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.
During the 2021 state budget hearings, the PA Independent Fiscal Office claimed that legalizing marijuana use for adults could generate between $400 million and $1 billion in new tax revenue.