Pennsylvania Residents And NORML To Rally In Harrisburg For Marijuana Legalization

Allentown, PA – Residents of the Keystone State will gather in Harrisburg on January 23, 2018 to speak with legislators about legalizing marijuana in an event co-sponsored by local NORML chapters, the ACLU-PA and the Keystone Cannabis Coalition.

A press conference is planned at 10:00 a.m. that will feature elected officials, advocates, medical marijuana patients and cannabis consumers.

Lehigh Valley NORML is spearheading the event with NORML chapters from Pittsburgh, South Philly and Lancaster sending volunteers to supply education tables and make office visits.

“Considering our current political climate, we have a unique opportunity to assemble the voices of cannabis advocacy from across this state to show legislators that we are united in our resolve for reform,” said Jeff Riedy of Lehigh Valley NORML, “We will arrive in Harrisburg determined to persuade our policymakers to follow the strong sentiment of Pennsylvania voters by ending our  prohibition on marijuana.”

This will be the first of several planned marijuana rally days in Harrisburg with NORML chapters in 2018.  A demonstration of a typical cannabis home cultivation setup, with a small indoor garden and LED lights, will be on display.

“With Delaware and New Jersey poised to legalize cannabis in 2018 we think Pennsylvania is ready to join the conversation,” said Chris Goldstein of South Philly NORML, “We can save more than 70 million tax dollars every year by stopping marijuana possession arrests alone, and we can see more than 300 million in new tax revenue for the commonwealth with retail cannabis.”

The Vermont legislature recently passed a bill to legalize marijuana possession and home cultivation. This was the first time a cannabis reform bill for adult consumers passed through the legislature instead of the ballot process. According to current data, Pennsylvania police are arresting 49 people, every single day (more than 18,000 per year), for less than 30 grams of cannabis.

U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced a change in posture at the Department of Justice towards regulated cannabis on January 4, 2018, the same week that Pa. medical cannabis providers were approved to begin growing. NORML chapters applaud the strong response from Gov. Wolf. state Sen. Mike Folmer, Auditor General Eugene Depasquale and middle district U.S. Attorney David Freed who stood up for our local laws.

The following week Rep. Dwight Evans (D, PA-2) became the first member of Congress in the area to cosponsor HR 1227, the Ending Federal Marijuana Prohibition Act. “First, I think I have different view because I served in the state legislature and I voted for the medical marijuana bill,” Evans told, “ Second, I have long believed [marijuana] should be decriminalized because that is what Mayor Jim Kenney did in the city of Philadelphia, particularity because we were targeting African American males [for arrests]. Last, I think that the whole aspect of moving in the direction of recreational marijuana is something that we should do because there are many opportunities in that.”

Rep. Mike Doyle (D, PA-14) and Rep. Brendan Boyle (D, PA-13) also signed on to a letter with 70 members of Congress rebuking Sessions for his new cannabis posture. Pennsylvania now joins just a handful of states with active marijuana reform at all levels with decriminalization ordinances underway in Erie and Easton, a thriving hemp program, a nascent medical cannabis program, and now members of our Congressional delegation involved with national efforts.

While the January 23 Pennsylvania Marijuana Lobby Day was planned months ago, the new move by the Trump administration has added a new energy. By working on local reform, residents and advocates are sending a strong message to Washington DC that States are moving forward with cannabis.

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18 thoughts

  1. Way to go PA and NORML PA, we stand with you! High time for your great state to embrace legalization! Pennsylvania would prove a significant addition to the cause!

  2. is it IRONY,

    or FATE ???????

    (or both ????)

    if everything goes in our favor,
    we can say “Attorney David Freed,
    FREED US !!!!”…

    and Senator chuck GRASSLEY,
    wants to take away our GRASS !!!!


      wants to throw away,
      to CHUCK away,
      our GRASS !!!


      does his name have to be “senator distroy non-violent stoners” …

      before we take the hint ??????

      Attorney David Freed,
      does not want to chuck our grass,

      and Senator chuck GRASSLEY,
      does not want us to be freed !!!

      you could make stuff like this up, for a TV show,
      but these are their actual names !!!!

      supressed truth is;

      a. ignored.
      b, laughed at.
      c. violently actacked.
      d. accepted as the OBVIOUS fact, that it is.

      we are in c and d now ….

      they are not ignoring us,
      or laughing at us,
      they recognise our power.

      even republicans are joining our side now,
      due to jeff sessions’s recent actions…

      and the republicans are LOVING all the M.M.J. taxes they get !!!

      FINALLY !!!!

      the LIGHT,
      at the end of the tunnel,
      IS IN SIGHT !!!

      1. @ mee,

        To be clear, any Republican who supports Trump is not on our side, by definition, no matter what they say or do, so let us not fall for their blatant and perpetual lies. These Republicans, and all Republicans, do the marijuana legalization movement more harm than good.

        The Republicans oppose marijuana legalization, and they will never negotiate in good faith; Trump himself is proof of that. Logically, it is obviously much better to get rid of them, than it would be to try to bargain with them.

        Trump is not on our side.

        Trump is a fascist white supremacist, and a Russian operative, both of which are entirely incompatible with support for marijuana legalization.

        Trump is a criminal thug and a sexual predator. He is incapable of honesty. He is violent. He is a threat to the security of America.

        And the Republicans are behind every bit of it.

      2. Weed is not political, dont try to make it so. Helpful reminder what leftists have given us, fascists, kkk, nazis, blm, antifa, and cnn. The ass is mascot of the left for a reason….

        I will say what I mean to say, and no more or less.
        And I say, Fuck that Nazi white supremacist piece of shit Trump.
        Who bad now?

      4. Badder,

        You think the KKK and Nazis are leftists? It’s hard to educate a person who is so delusional. CNN? Hell, they’re the ones who elected Drumpf with their 24/7 coverage of the Orange Puff during the election.

        BTW, the “ass” was the symbol the political cartoonist Thomas Nast chose for the Democratic Party in the 19th Century, you know, back when the Dems were the conservatives. So, yes, Nast saw the conservatives as asses.

      5. You a complete fucking jack ass pull your head out killerys ass and stop sucking terrorist arming Obamas dick before you run your mouth do some research before talking out of your ass

  3. As long as Sessions and Trump remain in power, the struggle for freedom will have every possible roadblock in it’s path. Let’s be constant in opposition!

  4. Keep our Chapter voices loud in the media;

    Great work by California NORML Executive Director Dale Gieringer who got the final word on this otherwise ambiguous drugged driving piece from NPR. Sounding more like a HoundLabs commercial than investigative reporting the reporter, Eli Wirtshafter comments on escalation of accidents n drugged driving after mentioning a man high on marijuana running over a woman. Only at the end does Eli mention opioids and other drugs drivers are influenced by. Dale Gieringer closes with the statement “Let’s test for impairment and get those people off the road” citing the canary app.

    And lets make sure drivers are being tested for prescription meds before some Marijuana Breathalyzer commercial spreads more propaganda about marijuana and driving!

    Check and use the stats from the NHTSA, and watch out for AAA, NORML regulators.

  5. I probably won’t be able to show for this rally, but would be there if I could. I highly support this change, as a toker myself, I don’t believe I should be arrested for something so simple.

    Cannabis should be sold legally at retail stores, not on the streets, where children can get a hold of it easily. As it is now, underage kids can get pot easier then they can alcohol. It was like that when I was a kid, and hasn’t changed. Drug dealers care not for the age of someone, as long as they have the money.

    It is time for a proper regulatory system on cannabis. Tax it, and sell it in respectful retail stores. Just like alcohol.

    In case anyone wants it.

  6. Kind of funny how Governor Wolf is against legalization and all of the others running for governor is too. Either way we’re screwed!

  7. I’m glad they are legalizing it, needs to be done everywhere, it does it help with my PTSD and Anxiety. But in Colorado the crime rates are down with the legalization of it. 3 percent on regular crimes and 6 percent on violent crimes, that shows it can reduce the crime in any other state of legalized.

  8. Your article mentions that both Delaware and New Jersey are poised to legalize marijuana in 2018, but you forgot our other very sizable neighbor, Canada. I live in Erie, and the provence of Ontario is only a boat ride away.

    So, PA will be almost surrounded. What concerns me is that the first group to establish an industry is usually the group that will ultimately control it. If Pennsylvania doesn’t wise up and get with the program, we will lose out on a potential $20 Billion new industry, and the jobs and economic growth that entails.

    If Pennsylvania waits a few years, and then legalizes it, PA might be able to collect some tax revenue, but we will be purchasing all the products sold here from our neighbors, who will reap all the economic benefits of production, processing, and wholesaling, not we!

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