As Pennsylvania officials continue to roll out the state’s new medical marijuana program, one Senator is calling for consideration of legalizing the drug for recreational use.
Democratic Senator Daylin Leach says it’s unlikely he will get a bill for legalization involved in the budget for the coming fiscal year, but he hopes new revenue estimates turn some heads.
The senator’s staff, with help from budget experts, project that after two years of legalization, tax revenue from legal marijuana could add up to more than $1 billion. The estimates use Colorado’s projections as a baseline. Lawmakers, however, remain concerned about marijuana’s reputation as a so-called gateway drug.
During a forum last week on the continuing drug and opioid overdose crisis in Butler County, Cranberry Township Police Sgt. Chuck Mascellino said the legalization of marijuana in others states has seemed to change the culture surrounding drugs, leading to more arrests locally.