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Proposal to Legalize Marijuana in Pennsylvania

 

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growing-in-homeCurrent law states it is illegal to be in possession of marijuana in Pennsylvania. However, there is currently a bill that would legalize marijuana in the state legislature. This bill has been proposed by state senator Daylin Leach, and it has some supporters in the senate. Leach argues that the illegal status of marijuana is illogical, and that the government should not punish people who make the decision to ingest an intoxicant. The bill proposes the regulation of marijuana is much like alcohol which is regulated in the state.

Supporters would like to have freedom to consume marijuana just like they have the freedom to consume alcohol. Many point out the fact that alcohol is the cause of many deaths in the state yet it is perfectly legal. Research also shows that marijuana has some benefits in combating certain diseases. Furthermore, supporters argue that marijuana arrests cost the state about $350 million per year, and that this money could be best used somewhere else. The taxation of marijuana could even raise revenue, and it could be as much as $1 billion dollars a year. It should be noted that the economic burst from legalizing marijuana in Washington hasn’t brought proof to the table yet. While it is unlikely that marijuana will become legalized this year, senator Leach vowed to continue trying to pass this legalization bill.

Governor Tom Corbett has been a strong opposition, stating he would veto any bill the legalizes marijuana should it get to his desk. The governor’s spokesperson stated that Corbett has “personally witnessed the devastation of illegal drugs… as a prosecutor”. Other opponents of the bill argue that regulations on drugs should not be weakened. Marijuana is a gateway drug with disastrous consequences. In Europe online marijuana retailers are selling a wide variety of marijuana seeds which are then grown in people’s own homes. While there might be benefits to marijuana, we can not allow ourselves to have an uncontrolable wild-growth of stores and illegal home-grown hotspots.

We believe that in either case we should always strive for a safe society and aim our efforts on society and its common interests. Embracing misbehavior can impossibly be a positive or desirable policy for anyone.

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11 Comments

  1. W. Sevenberg says:

    There’s one big misconception regarding marijuana and addiction: it is NOT an addictive substance. A very minor (dismissable?) group of consumers are actual daily users.

    Regardless of current laws people are still consuming marijuana… Marijuana isn’t destructive, however there are many OTHER serious issues that ARE. Why make this a ‘misbehavior’? Why not regulate/tax it in order to get a bigger budget to invest into REAL safety and our nation’s education/future?

  2. Joseph Lawson says:

    This is the most ridiculous article and has no merit scientifically or even generally. Now this is a puff piece.

  3. R. William says:

    The above article is interesting both for what it includes and what it doesn’t include.

    It is strange that this article states outright that “Marijuana is a gateway drug with disastrous consequences” when the scientific evidence for this is, at best, problematic.

    ***
    The Gateway theory was dismissed as recently as this year by researchers at Pitt:

    http://scienceblog.com/12116/study-says-marijuana-no-gateway-drug/

    The Pitt researchers tracked 214 boys beginning at ages 10-12, all of whom eventually used either legal or illegal drugs. When the boys reached age 22, they were categorized into three groups: those who used only alcohol or tobacco, those who started with alcohol and tobacco and then used marijuana (gateway sequence) and those who used marijuana prior to alcohol or tobacco (reverse sequence).
    Nearly a quarter of the study population who used both legal and illegal drugs at some point – 28 boys – exhibited the reverse pattern of using marijuana prior to alcohol or tobacco, and those individuals were no more likely to develop a substance use disorder than those who followed the traditional succession of alcohol and tobacco before illegal drugs, according to the study, which appears in this month’s issue of the American Journal of Psychiatry.
    “The gateway progression may be the most common pattern, but it’s certainly not the only order of drug use,” said Ralph E. Tarter, Ph.D., professor of pharmaceutical sciences at the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy and lead author of the study. “In fact, the reverse pattern is just as accurate for predicting who might be at risk for developing a drug dependence disorder.”
    ***

    Furthermore, the article claims that the jury is not in when it comes to the economic benefits of marijuana legalization. A 10 second search of google news found multiple articles about investment flooding into Colorado:

    ***
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/26/marijuana-business-colorado-industry-investors_n_3996644.html

    Investors looking for high returns took to Colorado this week and poured more than $1 million into the burgeoning legalized recreational marijuana industry in the state.

    In Denver, more than 60 investors from The ArcView Group met with 22 startup marijuana companies — including several directly involved in marijuana sales or cultivation, which was a first for the investment group — seeking capital. By the end of the meetings, the investors committed “well over $1 million” to Colorado marijuana companies, ArcView CEO Troy Dayton told The Denver Post.
    ***

    What the article does not include is any statements about the crippling cost of incarceration in PA. While schools lose funding and programs left and right, prisons are being built to house nonviolent offenders.

    Any conservative worth their salt, like myself, understands that personal liberties are more important than safety. That the Republican party in PA has decided that it is no longer interested in personal liberty is, in the end, saddening. Attitudes like the above will cost Corbett the election.

  4. Gary Caponong says:

    @R. William: While I agree with you that Corbett is doing an excellent job in defeating himself, I have to strongly agree with Corbett putting his efforts towards keeping marijuana out of the country. Regardless of the economical benefits, there is no proper large scale research regarding the potential harms of the drug. Besides, why should we put even the slightest bit of safety on the line? Softening our stance on drugs will not take care of our current economical issues.

    I’d like to see a good objective research which compares short and longterm effects of legalization of marijuana in countries where the substance is fully legalized. No large scale testing has been done for a good reason and I really don’t see why we should offer our own community as testing environment.

    Also, please see this article about the perception of cannabis being a safe substance, which has scientifically proven to be inaccurate: http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/810427

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