PA’s Legal Pot Bill Details Emerging, Workplace, Youth Threats Loom

HARRISBURG – (The Center Square) – The Pennsylvania General Assembly continues to work on a variety of bills that could expand the legalization of marijuana in various forms. While the proposed bills would have put Pennsylvania in the vanguard for legalization a decade or two ago, now, it’s behind the status quo and popular opinion nationally. As a new report from the Marijuana Policy Project noted, a majority of Pennsylvanians support the legalization of recreational cannabis. Current law “imposes up to 30 days’ imprisonment and/or a fine of up to $500 for possession of up to 30 grams of cannabis (just over an ounce),” the report noted. Data from 34% of state law enforcement agencies reported 11,239 arrests for cannabis possession in 2019. Federal law also complicates state legalization efforts. Federal penalties for a gun owner who uses marijuana can mean up to 10 years in prison, and state legislators see the threat to Second Amendment rights as an overhanging issue. Despite remaining obstacles, the General Assembly has moved forward. SB1167, which would expand access to financial institutions for cannabis-related businesses and allow medical marijuana patients to use insurance coverage to pay for marijuana-based medicine, moved through its second consideration in the Senate on April 11 and was referred again to the Senate Appropriations Committee. Sen. Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, who has proposed a cannabis legalization bill, announced in a legislative memo that he’ll introduce another bill allowing patients to purchase edible medicine. “Pennsylvania’s patients should be able to buy […]

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