Another week, another state bill filed with as aim allowing recreational use. This week it’s Pennsylvania’s turn where House Finance Chair Rep. Jake Wheatley filed HB50 in his second attempt to legalize marijuana use.
The state already allows medical marijuana since 2016.
Photo via Antonio Castagna on Flickr
Wheatley’s bill would not only extend the marijuana framework with adult-use but at the same time it would also wipe the slate on certain criminal records.
HB50 would clear anyone now incarcerated for then legal-cannabis and also return driver’s and professional licenses confiscated as result of cannabis-related crimes, as stated in a release by Wheatley’s office.
Wheatley’s previous effort, ended in the former session, in the General Assembly Health Committee.
This time he hopes to ride the positive marijuana zeitgeist, which is obvious with 25 cosponsors for HB50.
“Over the past decade, support for legalizing recreational cannabis has almost doubled to nearly 60 [percent] of all Commonwealth residents being in favor of legalization”
Wheatley’s approach is down to earth and rationally promotes the potential revenues the state could reap, as well as the positive effect it could have on the economy and jobs sector in general.
“The growth of medical cannabis has demonstrated the positive effects this industry is capable of achieving. House Bill 50 would not only implement the tax rates as suggested by the Auditor General’s report, which would generate upward of $580 million in new tax revenue for the Commonwealth, it also… incentivizes cannabis businesses to partner with PA farmers, as well as invests in student debt forgiveness, after-school programs and affordable housing.”
—Rep. Jake Wheatley
Wheatley promotes that revenue be used to help endeared students, fund affordable housing, and create afterschool programs for children.
He also forwards the bulk of regularization to the Bureau of Liquor Control Enforcement, who would be in charge of penalties.