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PA State Senator Daylin Leach Formally Introduces Marijuana Legalization Bill Today in Harrisburg

  • by Erik Altieri, NORML Communications Director February 11, 2013

    Today, Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach will formally introduce a bill to tax and regulate marijuana in Pennsylvania.

    “This past November, the people of Washington State and Colorado voted to fully legalize marijuana,” said Leach. “It is time for Pennsylvania to be a leader in jettisoning this modern-day prohibition, and ending a policy that has been destructive, costly and anti-scientific.”

    “NORML applauds Senator Leach for taking this important step forward to end the failed policy of marijuana prohibition in his state. Pennsylvania has long been considered a bellwether state that sets the precedent for politics across the country, as such it is both exciting and encouraging to see the Keystone State take up this crucial dialogue,” said Erik Altieri, Communications Director for NORML, “Marijuana prohibition costs the state of Pennsylvania over 300 million dollars a year in enforcement costs and tens of millions a year in lost potential tax revenue, while doing little to keep the substance out of the hands of children or lower use rates. It is time for a new policy that works for the state and its people. We encourage all of Senator Leach’s colleagues in Harrisburg to join him in this call for rational marijuana laws.”

    Speaking at Monday’s press conference will be Neill Franklin, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and Dr. David Nathan, a clinical associate professor from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.

    The press conference will be aired live online here at 2pm EST on February 11th.

    If you live in Pennsylvania, you can easily contact your state representatives and tell them to support this legislation by visiting NORML’s Take Action Center here.

    Senator Daylin Leach will be the keynote speaker at the NORML Mid-Atlantic Regional Conference, you can purchase your tickets to that event by clicking here.

    NORML will keep you updated as this important reform effort moves forward in Pennsylvania. For further information, please visit PhillyNORML or Pittsburgh NORML’s websites here and here.

    94 Responses to “PA State Senator Daylin Leach Formally Introduces Marijuana Legalization Bill Today in Harrisburg”

    1. WeAreJung says:

      !IMPEACH CORBETT!!! Free the trees! If we get PA, the rest will fall in line… home ! sweet Liberty! Pennsylvanians need to make this happen.

    2. Citizen says:

      Legalizing marijuana could help generate quite a bit of revenue for PA. As with anything there will be both positive and negatives aspects surrounding the process. Regulation will be tight at first but that means all the revenue will be gathered. If it does pass I can see some great business opportunities emerging for entrepreneurs willing to break into what is sure to be a lucrative industry.

    3. Ed Groover says:

      For the membership of the Old Dopers Club, I congratulate the Boomers for sticking with this cause and seeing it through! Remember, old dopers never die, we just lose our joints! Let’s help NORML see this to its well deserved legalization! And Tom Corbett can have his Riunite!

    4. Voice of the Resistance says:

      God is great, weed is good- people are crazy.

    5. Peter Geller says:

      Yaaaaayyyyy!@!! Thank you! About time the nation realizes that criminalizing a plant and jailing citizens for using it is counter productive and only wastes money, resources and lives…..

    6. Sean says:

      If Pennsylvania wants legalized marijuana, which I’m all for by the way, it didn’t help to elect medieval politicians like Corbett back in 2010. As long as Corbett remains in power, legalization will only be a pipe dream. If Pennsylvania re-elects Corbett in 2014, then Pennsylvania can forget about legalization until 2018. Is that what Pennsylvania wants?

    7. Anonymous says:

      Only reason corebutt won is cause only the 50s alcohol generation got out to vote. I voted for the Democrat. And will again.

    8. St. Nick says:

      Only reason corebutt won is cause only the 50s alcohol generation voted. I voted for the Democrat. And will again.

      VOTE EVERY 2 YEARS — EVEN # YEARS — 2014, 2016, 2018 ETC.

    9. Stone Mountain says:

      “Corbett is on his way out. question is will the next govonor be in favior” sic

      Likely not.
      If Corbett is a problem either work around him, is not PA like many other states where enough votes in the legislature can override a veto? The question is how do you make it in his (or the next gov’ners) best interest to no be a roadblock. The anwser is very simple, just hard to actually get done – have the voters overwhelmingly on your side a vocal about it.

    10. Justin Shedaker says:

      Legalizing marijuana would help PA. People would be less violent. Also the money from selling weed legally would help out the economy. Anxiety and stress levels would drop drastically. We need this to happen in PA and all over the world. Alcohol and cigarettes are legal and weed should be as well. Hopefully Leach’s Bill is passed and also thank you for proposing this bill.

    11. NShYH says:

      Not only should this be legalized in PA, but the tax revenue (in places like Pittsburgh) could be used to re-invest in proper repairs and operating expenses for sustaining infrastructure; especially the Pittsburgh Port Authority mass transit system.

    12. Nick says:

      Look at Hawaii. the ppl want to legalize it. they percent to the House & it got Denied. Even though the ” ” polls said yes. What make you all think that this will pass? I want it legalized too. And reading everyone comments. It’s on point that weed should be legal. Hell if it doesn’t work out after being legalized. They can always make illegal again.

    13. lucy says:

      Weed or marijuana,is a herb. It is like ginseng,u use it in products.Marijuana is a herb that helps with stress and anxiety. People who use it,don’t harm other people. We need to stop living in the dark ages. You need to think how much more money it would bring into Pa and our country. No more worries about people bringing it in illegally into our country. It can be taxed like tobacco and alcohol. Alcohol and tobacco kills people, weed does not. And it does not lead you to other drugs. People make choices to do other drugs, weed does not.

    14. Nick says:

      ok so Corbett wants to privatize the liquor stores. then turn them into weed stores. Or not privatize liquor at all. His going to just make it easy for our kids to get booze by, stealing it. If he privatize alcahol. So there goes the crime rate in theifs.

    15. Jamie says:

      I want it legal also but I love the government for letting me put another 30 grand In my pocket for getting rid of it

    16. cody says:

      corbet is unfair. we the people have the right to vote and half of pa wantes it legalized so what are voices arent herd. this is america and corbet needs to listen to our word. we have every right. we have all the positive facts that he needs to look at not just sayn o its bad cause old wifes tales. this is bullshit. corbet is so wrong impeach him. he has done nothing for pa.

    17. Robert says:

      It says he formally introduced the bill on February 11th, however if you go to the senate website the bill doesn’t show up as being introduced, only his letter that he sent to other members of the senate on January 4th.

    18. Skitskats says:

      oh so does this mean if they legalIze it in PA i won’t have to get my grass from junkies and crack-heads who burn me and rob me and steal my money? oh the joys of prohibition…

    19. David says:

      I read a story on Google news a week ago and a man in a small Pennsylvania town was getting his home taken away from him because he was ‘caught’ growing 3 cannabis plants…Don’t think Pennsylvania is gonna legalize anytime too soon…The home of papa JOE…Make me barf!!!

    20. Nick says:

      again I support this bill 110%. Lets add some food for thought. Maybe they don’t want to legalize it yet b/c, the government is testing the waters now. With CO & WA state. Too see how it may turn out. then again I could be wrong & Corbett is just, a real jack ass.

    21. KirkAnthony says:

      I have an old friend who lived in Colorado until this year when his Mom got sick and needed help. He has muscle spasms and back in Colorado he would eat a pastry with the proper dose of Medical Marijuana and could sleep through the night. There he was a well respected member of the community. Here in Pa he is a criminal. He moved back to Pa and now he has to go buy his medicine on the street or in a bar, with no quality control. Why does it take so long to get the good laws enacted when so many bad laws appear over night. I use Hemp seed oil for arthritis I cant ever start a business in that field. I have some of the best farmland under my feet and could use a job , growing and producing hemp and hemp products.

    22. shelly says:

      This would be both beneficial for the state of PA financially and physically for the people suffering with chronic pain. There would be a major decrease of addiction from opiates. This is the most important! There’s a major problem in this country with opiate overdoses. Please pass this bill.

    23. TheOracle says:

      AG Kane has nixed Corbett’s plan to privatize the Pennsylvania Lottery by basically having Camelot (British company) sign a 20-year contract. That in and of itself is dubious because there is not short-term trial or probationary period. What if they sucked right from the get-go and you were locked into a contract with them for 20 years? Pennsylvania law does not allow for monitor/video games such as Camelot’s suggestion for Keno, which is their main idea for how to increase profits. Who knows what else Camelot has planned?

      Corbett also wants to privatize the state liquor store system, and convert the money into block grants for schools over a 4-year period. However, feedback on that from school districts has been negative according to newspaper reports. Superintendents are saying they don’t want to start new programs or rely on the money because it will dry up. They want a steady revenue stream to bring the state funding back up to where is used to be before the state kept reducing its share and put the burden ever more on local school boards to raise local taxes. This is where Senator Leach’s ideas for legalizing cannabis in Pennsylvania provide that revenue stream.

      Corbett is telling Pennsylvanians to think in a modern way when he wants us to go along with his half-assed ideas.

      Corbett said:
      “Now is not the time to be timid in our approach. Now is not the time to cling to old ideas and the status quo,” he said. “Now is not the time to make small changes and expect big results.”

      However, it was reported on central Pennsylvania television news that he said that he would veto any such legislation to legalize cannabis in any way.

      So, let me get this straight. Corbett has no problem with more gambling, which brings with it more chances of more gambling addictions. Corbett has no problem with more availability of alcoholic beverages via privatization, which brings with it more chances of alcohol addictions, not to mention more of a concentration of liquor stores in economically distressed neighborhoods.

      Yet Corbett, DOES

    24. TheOracle says:

      continuing where cut off before

      Yet Corbett DOES HAVE A PROBLEM WITH FEWER CHILDREN GETTING ACCESS TO CANNABIS BECAUSE THEY WILL HAVE TO PRESENT PROOF OF AGE. He DOES HAVE A PROBLEM with people having more access to cannabis via a legal market because there will be higher chances of more people having addiction problems with it.

      Well, why doesn’t he run a decent public education campaign on it and fund addiction counseling centers?

    25. TheOracle says:

      Predictably, the local rag of a newspaper–well several rags of newspapers that run in the Harrisburg area–have run editorials denouncing Senator Leach’s plan. They’re using the same tired old prohibitionist arguments: the children, the message to children, a pothead on every street corner, more widespread availability. I have to say at first I was appalled at the lack of rationality and intelligence, but then realized that the editors simply dug out a previously run editorial saved on their computer somewhere, changed this or that, and then ran the same old trash. Without outing anyone at any of the newspapers about whom anything might be known of their pot-smoking days, I completely dismissed the editorials as acts of people who simply do not want out of the cannabis closet. How many of them partied in college, wrote legalization articles and editorials in their college newspapers, yet now will not do the same in the rags that now circulate in the commonwealth? Anyone who knows anything should keep their mouths shut. Big city editorials should admonish editorial boards in small-minded communities far from intellectual centers of civilization, Philly and Pittsburgh, where there are actually Ph.D.-granting universities in competition with one another. Penn State main campus doesn’t count because it has no competition in the greater State College area. It’s land grant anyway.

      With Corbett’s brainfarts to privatize the lottery, the state store system and fuck over the cops, firemen and other public sector employees on their pension plans by making them get less benefits via a lower multiplier, Senator Leach’s plan ought to be touted as looking better and better. The General Assembly can tax Marcellus Shale and go with Leach’s plan.

      It’s looking like Daylin and his backers and co-sponsors are the only ones with any brains. Nobody else is coming up with any plans other than just letting the shit hit the fan and voting somebody else into the governor’s office in 2014.

      Why wait?!

    26. Galileo Galilei says:

      “In addition to raising millions of dollars per year from tax revenue, Pennsylvania would save more than $325 million per year by legalizing marijuana. The most conservative estimates say the revenue generated by taxing the sales of marijuana would amount to at least $24 million per year. Legalizing marijuana and taxing its sale could provide a multi-million dollar reoccurring revenue source that our state could tap into for years to come,” Leach said.

      So this plan could free up about $350 million per year. The alternative would generate a quick $1 billion, but then permanently lose the state store income for the state. The debate should be interesting.

    27. Jason says:

      Agree with everybody and they should legalize it for a million different reasons, just will Corbet do it, I understands he says he’ll veto but if he wants a chance to get re-elected he might change his mind, but I don’t think he even wants to get re-elected so I’m not sure how this will work out, I’m hoping for the best. It’ll defintely be a huge money maker and save a ton of money from prosecuting people for it and having them go through the court system and for me as a kid it was easier for me to get weed than alcohol just because it was in the street with easy access as people werent in the street selling alcohol.

    28. TheOracle says:

      This kind of editorial shit is the battle.

      http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/816408_Pot-pushing-in-Pa–Legislature.html

      By LANCASTER NEW ERA (Feb. 16, 2013)
      A Democratic state lawmaker from suburban Philadelphia plans to reintroduce a bill that would legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania.

      State Rep. Daylin Leach was the prime sponsor of one of two medical-marijuana bills that died in committee at the end of last year.

      Leach’s latest one deserves the same fate.

      In supporting outright legalization of pot, Leach rolled out the time-worn economic argument for taxing the drug in a way similar to alcohol, which would generate much-needed revenue for state coffers.

      But if raising revenue is the only aim, why not legalize prostitution, the so-called world’s oldest profession? Surely revenues would compare to that generated by pot heads.

      Leach and others also point to medicinal benefits of pot-smoking for people suffering from terminal illnesses, such as cancer.

      Yet pot-smoking is a two-edged sword &tstr; providing a “high,” no question about that. But there are certain health risks to marijuana smoking, including ill-effects on the brain from chronic use. Not to mention pot being a gateway to other illicit drugs.

      How many families are destroyed by the chronic user of pot? How many pot-smokers move on to cocaine and heroin?

      Leach claims to have the support of law enforcement, saying legalizing pot would reduce crime and violence. But that’s a guess and nothing more.

      The lawmaker argues that pot and alcohol are no different. If that’s the case, it follows that pot-smokers would add dramatically to the numbers of people who get behind the wheel of a car when they shouldn’t. How scary.

      Despite setbacks in the last two sessions of the Legislature, Leach is forging ahead to have a pot head on every street corner in Pennsylvania.

      Doesn’t he get it?

      Unlike some other states, Pennsylvania citizens are not in the mood to relax the pot laws.

      Leach and the Legislature have far more pressing issues to deal with &tstr; public employee pension reform, transportation funding, and more.

      Leach’s proposal deserves to go up in smoke.

      Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/816408_Pot-pushing-in-Pa–Legislature.html#ixzz2LTpPLmTV

    29. TheOracle says:

      Pennsylvania should send delegations to both Washington state and Colorado to gather information to bring back and report on. How much money are they intending to make? How can that be applied to Pennsylvania, and how much can it bail out the state from its pension funding problems, public education funding problems, infrastructure problems. Corbett has this idea of raising the tax on gas stations, which will only be passed on to me. If cannabis can be regulated in a tax structure that will do all of that, or at least much of it, the public ought to up it in the polls. I’ll be looking for it in the news and on the reform group sites. I’d love to get paid some big bucks to do that and make the transition in the state, but I have to keep groveling plugging away at my sucky job.

    30. Nick says:

      The Oracle: Im pretty sure they are working that. It’s going to take more than 4-5 months for them to find out. when they do it that info. Hopefully PA would regret going against this bill.

    31. Dean Lower says:

      It is time for PA to legalize marijuana ! I do not like my son or dauther buying from drug dealers at 21 he or she should be able to buy it “LEGALY”

    32. James Cochran says:

      I recently got out on probation for 6 months for haven a small bud and a grinder container i had on a campen trip ! Totally ridiculous I spent 1500 for an attorney and the probation will cost 1200 and they will be piss testen me! I’m a hard worken American thats healthyand never been in trouble! Please help put an end to this maddness!! Alcohol and tobacco is so much worse on the body than marajanua!!

    33. MattD says:

      About 12 million in PA. Lets say 50% support legalization. And let’s say 50% of supporters smoke an average of 1 ounce per month. That is 3 million ounces a month. Lets say it is a tax of $25 per ounce. That’s $75 million a month. $900 million a year! Divide that between education roads and health care. Make the tax $50 an ounce like Maryland is proposing now the pension funds are filled. Just sayin… And drug dealers don’t ID but they make lots of money. Put alcohol in private stores and make new state stores with cannabis not alcohol!

    34. ManInPA says:

      It’s not just Pot, he has also added Hemp to the list too…

    35. ManInPA says:

      I have personally been corresponding with him on constructing gowing facilities and plants.

    36. Nick says:

      I justhit up Corbetts 2 big facebook pages. Complain how it’s a win win for the both of us. If he shuts down the beer & spirit shops for his Privatication of liquor. He should turn those old shops to weed stores. Then employment will rise & more tax money. But I m still against the Privatication of liquor. Even though I go like to drink.

    37. JONNY R says:

      PEOPLE WILL ALWAYS SMOKE MARAJANUA. HAVENT WE FIGUIRED THAT OUT YET. STOP THE BLACK MARKET BY LEGALIZING MARAJANUA, #1 TAX’S ON MARAJANUA WOULD PAY FOR SOCIAL SECURITY AND THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM AND REPAIR OUR NATION TO WHAT IT ONCE WAS #2 LESS PEOPLE IN JAIL #3 USED AS A MEDICATION FOR PEOPLE #4 PEOPLES HEALTH WOULD IMPROVE, WHY BECAUSE THEY WILL HAVE AN OPTION OTHER THAN DRINKING. NAME ANY ILLNESS THAT COMES FROM MARAJANUA. NOW ON THE SAME TOKEN NAME ANY ILLNESS THAT COMES FROM DRINKING. THAT LIST IS BIG. HEALTH CARE ISSUES WOULD GO DOWN WITH MARAJANUA WHICH IS GREATLY NEEDED DUE TO THE BABY BOOMERS. NOTE THE GOVERNMET SHOULDN’T HAVE TO STEP IN. THERE IS MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THE SUBJECT HOWEVER CHANGING NOTHING AND STAYING ON THE PATH WERE ON IS A VERY BAD ROAD HOW WILL THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TAKE CARE OF IT’S OLD. AND WAR VETERANS!!!

    38. Chelle says:

      I suffer from MS and wish I could try this natural medicine but due to PA law I cannot. Why is this benign substance illegal for those of us suffering. Why Why Why is it the pharmaceutical companies or just ignorance. I’m so frustrated as I’m sure many others are as the law is just inane. I have lost so much weight and think this would help me and I’m sure many others immensely. Please have compassion for your fellow man and legalize marijuana or at the very least medicinal marijuana. Thank you for your time concerning this important issue.

    39. Bill says:

      i agree it will regulated but i think there should be permet for personal use im not sure if they will beable to regulated tightly to many seed bank to many seed out there. Too easy grow in your yard or i your house but nice to pay and have something already processed and packed. I sort kind of hope it wont be titly regulated so peopel dont get inrouble for growing it. although i dont think they can stop people from growing and if leglaziaed it wont be criminal charge just a fine.

    40. Bill says:

      agree it will regulated but i think there should be permit for personal use im not sure if they will be able to regulated tightly too many seed bank too many seeds out there. Too easy grow in your yard or your house, but nice to pay and have something already processed and packed. I sort kind of hope it won’t be titly regulated so people don’t get in trouble for growing it. although i dont think they can stop people from growing and if leglaziaed it wont be criminal charge just a fine.

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