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

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.

95 thoughts

  1. Thank God! I was born in Harrisburg and my grandparents lived in Camp Hill. I’ve gone on joint rides in the heart of Harrisburg and smoke in SC PA now. Would love to go to a store and buy it safely and not from some shady gangster people.

    I am voting Leach if he’s in my county. Go Steelers!

  2. This is such an outdated prohibition. In these times where our CAPITAL can’t fill its potholes and is teetering on the verge of bankruptcy we need to get real with our spending. 300 mil on catching the marijuana boogeyman is laughable anymore.

  3. I am really starting to feel that finally we are getting down to some common sense in this country. No more prison for a substance that is patently safer than the legal substances out there.

  4. 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.”

    Tell it like it is.

  5. After watching the speech on the link provided in this article…I applaud Senator Leach on his and the other speakers insight and knowledge on legalizing MJ. He does know what he is talking about. And I love the fact that he said that just making it medical use is certainly not enough. It needs to be legal, regulated, and distributed like alcohol. People can grow their own within limits ….but it is finally going to be a reality…….Finally.

  6. I have broken my back .had major surgery . Knees been reconstructed 8 times getting to b replaced. Elbow reconstructed twice . Pills r the worse drug there is . To many does afects. My favorite. Is suicidel thoughts. Fda aprooves thus . Pot does way better . Calms the nerves,relaxes the muscles. All natural. If done right millions can b made. And everyone can benefit from it . I know I have the tats . U can only get from a scalpel.

  7. PA State Senator Daylin Leach Formally gets a SALUTE from me!!! I sincerely hope to salute the leaders here in Virginia someday. Even more than that, I would very much like to give President Obama a salute if only he would evolve on this issue as he did on gay marriage…

  8. great! now we just need the republicans and more states to get on board with ending the waste hypocrisy and ludocrisy.

  9. @freedom: You’re right! Tom Corbett is one serious dumb@ss… Maybe the voters of PA will have the intelligence to vote him out next election in favor of someone with at least half a brain!

  10. I believe 100% marijuana is one of the best natural medicines to take.
    Side effects hungry and happiness!!
    Killed 0 people
    And most of America loves it. The government can’t turn down this profit!!

  11. Right on! Right on! Right on!

    It’s $350 million you didn’t have before!You’ve got a manufactured public education, infrastructure, mental health services and state pension crisis. And that asshole Corbett’s scheme of privatizing the state lottery, privatizing the PLCB, and re-jiggering the pension system are all going to get tied up in the courts, so the money won’t be available by the June 30th deadline to have a balanced budget.

    True Corbett is an obstacle, amongst other things.

    From Senator Leach’s site from the costs link I clicked on in the article:

    “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.

    Corbett’s proposal would relinquish the state’s control over its liquor stores and use the $1 billion raised from licensing fees to fund a four-year state education grant program. Under the plan, schools could only use the block grant funds for school safety purposes, to create individualized learning plans, to improve reading and math skills in early elementary classrooms and for science, technology, engineering and mathematics programs. The plan would aim to resolve a major crisis our public schools faced after Corbett slashed $1 billion in education funding in his first budget.

    Again, it’s money you didn’t have before!

    It’s $350 million per annum you didn’t have before.

  12. Been voting for legalization since 1975. High Times magazine and NORML have been around a long time. Why are we just now starting to see positive change in the political climate and acceptnce? Answer: Baby Boomers!

  13. i hope this goes through. tired of the lies and false info that are spread about marijuana and its medicinal miracles. some people get high just for the high, some like myself who have consulted my doctor about my issues and what marijuana does for are more responsible users with intents other than a euphoria. i support this bill and the massive revenue the state will see from the taxes applied. this state may improve after all if this is passed

  14. I contacted my rep, Tom Marino, and this is what I received :
    Thank you for contacting me regarding efforts to legalize marijuana. I appreciate hearing your views.

    In response to the increasing use of marijuana and other street drugs during the 1960s, the Comprehensive Drug Abuse Prevention and Control Act of 1970 (P.L. 91-513) was signed into law. Included in this law was the Controlled Substances Act (CSA) which placed marijuana and its derivatives in schedule I, the most restrictive classification. Under federal statute, simple possession of marijuana for personal use, a misdemeanor, can bring up to one year in federal prison and up to a $100,000 fine for a first offense. Growing marijuana is considered manufacturing a controlled substance, a felony. A single plant can bring an individual up to five years in federal prison and up to a $250,000 fine for a first offense.

    Prior to being elected to serve the people of Pennsylvania’s 10th Congressional District, I served as United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania. In my capacity as a federal prosecutor, I saw firsthand the detrimental effects of marijuana use. Almost all drug offenders that I prosecuted began their drug abuse using marijuana. It is impossible for me to quantify the number of lives destroyed as a result of what started as marijuana use. Because of my experience, I do not support efforts to legalize the drug. As a member of the House Committee on the Judiciary, I will continue to strongly oppose any efforts to weaken or eliminate laws against the sale, possession, or use of marijuana.

    Please continue to contact me regarding issues of importance to you. It is an honor to serve you in the U.S. House of Representatives, thank you.

    He can blow me.

  15. Its about time anyone who says once u legalize weed whts next cocaine and heroin is stupid.Marijuana is harmless and everyone knows it I say it constantly 0 ppl have died from weed how many from from alcohol hmmmm think about it

  16. I live in buffalo,NY and if PA does legalize I can say that they will be receiving my money for marijuana that currently the state of New York is missing out on. Come on Cuomo, if you ever want a shot as president do what is right for the people of the great state of New York !

  17. VIVA LA CHEECH N CHONG!!!!! Corbett will be the downfall, like Ridge was the destroyer of a pardon for a 16yr. old child who sold pot! Wake up the war on drugs isnt real, its only there when they need to get reelected or line their pockets. VIVA LA BOSTON GEORGE!!!!!


  19. I would LOVE to see this passed. Maybe it would keep me living where my family raised me instead of moving out to Colorado next summer.

    Then again, there are a lot of older conservative folks in PA, along with the people they’ve elected. If this goes any further in PA, it’ll have to put up one hell of a fight. If the citizens of PA get to vote on the matter, though, I will campaign day and night to make it happen.

  20. We can always vote Tom out of office in 2014! Or will the PENN STATE FOOTBALL do him in. He was the DA of the county when it first came up in the 90’s. Did he just turn his head the other way. One of those GOOD OLD BOYS CLUB

  21. Marijuana’s not a crime but taking away people’s rights and liberty should be!

    Tom Corbett, the Governor of PA, is responsible for taking away the liberty of a great many good people. He is responsible for the law enforcement policies where tactical squads of armed goons raid suspected marijuana users in the middle of the night often terrorizing them and their children and killing their pets. This practice is very much like the way the Gestapo did business and it is very disgusting!

    So, everyone in PA, don’t let this guy (Tom Corbett) win any more elections!

    As for PA State Senator Daylin Leach, we need a lot more good people like him!

  22. @Anon – It seems that Tom Marino’s main reason for being against marijuana is because he mistakenly believes it lead to other things which are dangerous. This myth has been debunked many times over… He says it is an honor to serve but who is he serving? Certainly not the majority of freedom loving Americans!

    I get the impression that he is ignorant and will probably never evolve on this issue unless he becomes quite certain it will cost him. As long as it hurts others then he is okay with the laws being the way they are. People like him need to go the way of the dinosaurs!

    So, once again people, Tom Marino is someone who should absolutely not be voted for in any upcoming elections in PA! Him and Tom Corbett are not good human beings. They are predators that seek to profit from other’s misfortune.

  23. Even if it is done JUST for euphoria, yeah so? What are we supposed to look down on people who feel good and emotions feelings. Is there something wrong with feeling good or are we only to reward knowledge pursuits? You need both a balance of intellect and emotion to be sane. Too much of one or the other is chaos. Much like when people TRY to suppress The Mother God or feminine repression. Feeling good SHOULD be a right that we have. Not a crime, dumb-asses!

  24. I think it should be legalized for the money it can have a great affect money wise i mean who’s not willing make extra money on something that a lot ppl like to do not to mention all over the counter and prescribed digs that way more harmful than marijuana I would rather smoke a little marijuana than to take oxicodone or ro

  25. Yes Tommy Boy Corbett says he would veto the bill no matter what, Medical or recreational.

    Hopefully someday weed will fianlly be legal in PA…..

  26. Just need a few more old white voters to die and the ganja will be legal in every state in the union.

    My Life. My Body. My Choice.

  27. Cannabidiol – look it up on Wikipedia. The medicinal effects of the cannabis flower and the many uses for hemp make this quite an incredible plant. People are so easy to throw it under the bus, but why? Just legalize it already. I can’t even begin to explain the benefits of a full blown legalization. If it were controlled in the same manner as alcohol, it would be for use to adults who are of age.

  28. I wouldn’t count on any Republican governor in PA to vote for legalization. Same goes for most of the state’s Republican legislators, as they’re all either brainwashed or on the take from cannabis’s foes’ lobby groups, i.e. pharma, drugtesters, police & prison unions, the usual suspects, etc.

    Plus, you’ve got to get the MomsTell and Katie True types drowned out with folks who are like just shut the hell up, we need the money, sorry if your kid got hooked on heroin but this is pot, and sorry if your kid got in the middle of gunfire but if cannabis were legal it wouldn’t have been because of it, no telling if the gunfire was because of pot in the first place, but that’s the ax you’ve got to grind.

    Lots of PA prohibitionists seem inbred because the facts are completely irrelevant and are too difficult for them to think through. Pot’s been illegal as far back as they can remember, and as far as they’re concerned that’s just the way it’s gonna be forever.

    Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized. That’s the only way it will happen, because they only way they’ll legalize is if you leave them no other choice. The pension and state funding situation is only going to get even worse the next year. If you think 2013 is bad, 2014 will be worse. Cops and prison guards have unions and pensions, and they should just either shut the fuck up or just come out and say they don’t give a shit and think cannabis should be legalized.

    I saw a poll on tv that just over half of Pennsylvanians think gay marriage should be legal. Yet, the polls don’t show that much support in favor of cannabis legalization. For such an open-minded populace it seems like someone’s fucked with the poll or poll questions for cannabis to skew the results.

    Keep running the economy into the ground until cannabis is legalized.

    Run Corbett out of town, and hound any other politician who won’t go for the money grab and legalize cannabis!

  29. It is about time the government wakes up and stops buying the hype. Marijuana is a natural growing plant and should be completely legal! Prohibition of it and the criminalization of it just stomps all over the peoples rights. So many lives have been destroyed due to the prosecution of possession and use of this flower! Our tax dollars are WASTED enforcing the tyranical laws against marijuana. Make it legal and let adults chose for themselves whether they want to partake or not- just like alcohol. Tyranny versus Liberty… Legalize marijuana and liberate the people!

  30. This is hugely symbolic. Pennsylvania has not yet been willing to even debate medical marijuana or decriminilaization, so chances of passing this term are zero.

    But the fact this is being seriously proposed and debated represents huge progress. And who knows? If we get the governor out, in two more years public opinion might just put this in play!

  31. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to buy weed safely, in a store, no worries about getting busted or burned ? The same blend, same quality, guaranteed fresh. No danger, no problem.

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