MARIJUANA: Will Penna. Lead Nation In Legalizing It?

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A MOVE will be made in the Penna. General Assembly this year to legalize marijuana.

We’ve become so drug-happy and dependent, maybe the time has come to legalize not only marijuana, but every other conceivable drug and make them readily handy to anyone over 18 who wants to use them.

That seems to be happening as the dike holding up government enforcement of illicit drugs is beginning to show leaks. Two states, Washington and Colorado, have legalized recreational use of marijuana. Others, such as New Jersey, have legalized its medicinal use.

Government at all levels is powerless to stem its availability and use. What liquor was to mobs and speakeasies in the ’20s is what marijuana has come to be with this generation. It too feeds the growth of crime cartels and the corruption that goes with them.

Pennsylvania may soon be joining those two states. If the Keystone State goes that route, look for the other states to quickly follow. Democrat State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), whose district includes parts of surburban Philadelphia, has announced plans to introduce legislation legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania. The bill is currently circulating for co-sponsorship.

Leach previously introduced a bill that would allow the use of medical marijuana by eligible patients in the state.

Here is his reasoning:

“This past November, the people of Washington State and Colorado voted to fully legalize marijuana. Other places, including California, have had de facto legalization for some time. This week, I will introduce legislation which would have Pennsylvania join these other states in ending this modern-day prohibition. My bill will legalize the consumption of marijuana for adults over the age of twenty one, without regard to the purpose of that consumption. Here’s why:

“For the past 75 years, our marijuana policy has been foolish, ill-conceived, costly and destructive, and it must end. We have been waging a ‘war on drugs’ that includes treating the use of marijuana as a matter for the criminal justice system. We have spent billions of dollars investigating, prosecuting, incarcerating and monitoring millions of our fellow citizens who have hurt no one, damaged no property, breached no peace. Their only ‘crime’ was smoking a plant which made them feel a bit giddy.

“People across our Commonwealth have spent time in prison, lost time at work, been forced to hire lawyers and had their lives disrupted and sometimes destroyed because they used a product less dangerous than beer, less risky than children’s cough syrup, less addictive than chocolate and whose societal harm comes from its prohibition rather than its use.

“According to the Office of National Drug Control Policy, in 2006, an average year, 24,685 marijuana arrests were made in Pennsylvania at a cost to the taxpayers of $325.36 million. Each year we not only waste a similar amount, we leave several hundred million dollars on the table in taxes that we do not collect because marijuana is illegal, rather than regulated and taxed. Aside from the moral issues involved, we simply can no longer afford the financial costs of prohibition.

“Further, prohibition of marijuana has done what it did in the case of alcohol in the 1930s. It has created a dangerous black market with violent and bloody turf wars that kill many people in our country and elsewhere. The original prohibition brought us the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre. The modern prohibition has brought us gun battles in the streets between drug cartels. The murders associated with the sale of alcohol ended with prohibition. The same will be true of marijuana.

“To be clear, under the terms of this legislation marijuana would be a regulated product, treated in a way similar to how alcohol is treated. It will still be illegal to drive under the influence of marijuana, behave badly while publicly intoxicated or to sell it to minors.

“Further, like alcohol, legalization and regulation will make marijuana safer. People will no longer have to buy it on the streets from criminals who may have laced their product with other dangerous drugs. People buying legally will know exactly what they are getting and be able to rely on the safety of what they are purchasing.

“The sad history of prohibition is that marijuana was legal, and in fact the most-prescribed drug in the nation, until the late 1930s. At that time, it was targeted by those who had an economic interest in removing it from the market. Today, prohibition is supported by myths, misconceptions and old wives’ tales that no longer stand up to scientific scrutiny.

“For example, in response to my bill, Gov. Corbett said he opposed it because he ‘believes’ marijuana is a ‘gateway drug’. But science has clearly established that this is untrue. Well over 90% of those who use marijuana never go on to use harder drugs, and the percentage of people who do use hard drugs and had previously used marijuana is no higher than the percentage who had previously only tried beer.”

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6 Responses to MARIJUANA: Will Penna. Lead Nation In Legalizing It?

  1. Legalize it already.

    January 17, 2013 at 5:12 pm

  2. Finally, some commonsense thinking from a politician. Anyone who believes that marijuana is a harmful drug is in denial.

    Here are just a few examples of successful people who have smoked marijuana. Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, Jimmy Hendrix, William Clinton, Sen. Leach, Snoop Dogg, Eminem, Seth Rogan, and Miley Cyrus. Each person is a successful member of society.

    The idiotic stereotyping of marijuana has got to stop. Alcohol is much worse. Alcohol leads to uncontrollable, violent behavior and you can die from overdosing on it. Marijuana leads to happy, hungry, friendly people. End the prohibition now.

    January 18, 2013 at 3:12 pm

  3. Gov. Corbett is probably against legalization because he gets a kickback from the drug kings for keeping it so. It greatly inflates the prices and risk of violence – so – I’m sure he’s getting a kickback – just like he is on gas drilling and the lottery.

    He’s ONLY in that office to make bucks for himself. Hope Kathleen gets him on all counts.

    January 19, 2013 at 4:56 pm

  4. To help with providing some facts, I’ve refuted some common lies the Prohibitionists WILL spew;

    Lie #1 “Gateway Drug”.
    FACT Marijuana is NOT a Gateway Drug. Here’s a 12 Yr Univ Study that says so:
    Andrew Hryckowian – University of Pittsburgh
    Pittsburgh Mayor Luke Raven “…Marijuana is not a ‘gateway’ drug.”

    Lie #2 “Marijuana is very addictive and dangerous”.
    FACT Marijuana is less addictive and less harmful than caffeine, let alone alcohol and tobacco:
    Dr Henningfield is a former NIDA staffer:
    Addictiveness of Marijuana –

    Lies #3 & 4 “Marijuana has no medicinal use and isdDangerous”.

    FACT In 1988, a DEA Administrative Judge Francis Young wrote, in a report commissioned by the DEA; “16. Marijuana, in its natural form, is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis, marijuana can be safely used within a supervised routine of medical care.”…”

    FACT For good measure, the CDC reported medical marijuana doesn’t increase teen use.

    Mike Parent
    January 22, 2013 at 9:08 am

  5. To me, it’s all about attitude. I have seen the toxicology comparison to alcohol. I have read where advocates say that it’s nothing but ground-up stems and flowers. But I know firsthand that it is very addictive and affects many lives and attitudes in a negative way such that they become lazy (and it’s all they want to do). I have more than one ex-friend that quit school or a job and spent every day getting high. Wellness it’s not. And what a shady, seedy lifestyle. Awesome!

    I guess it’s too late to ask Whitney Houston about it not being a “gateway drug”. Not even funny. Then there are the parties where it’s laced with stronger drugs (like her favorite) and those unsuspecting find out the hard way that they have taken the next step.

    Responsible drinking has its positive social side, a cool refreshment on a hot day, and even some health benefits. Non-medical weed use has just one purpose. Just one. I question those who have to do this to enjoy life. I could also lose my job with any affiliation and will not associate myself with anybody that needs this mind-altering substance (yes, it’s a drug).

    We already have a serious alcohol problem that hurts families, causes tragic traffic deaths, is now known to cause early dementia, and lowers work productivity and quality. Why legalize another substance that will most definitely increase its use?

    It makes me sick to my stomach the way Hollywood glamorizes drug use, but the federal laws currently in place (that may seem too harsh) are at least some deterrent. And it makes me most sad to see yet another step in the gradual erosion of the good, wholesome side of life taking place.

    L O'Donnell
    February 15, 2013 at 8:54 pm

  6. All about attitude? What attitude?!? I’m confused: You never really address this so-called attitude argument other than to cop one. And to state that some marijuana advocates say it’s nothing more than ground-up stems and flowers…. Is that among the arguments advocates have really made? Because I never heard that one. And it’s a stupid argument. Arsenic is natural, by that token. I mean, that’s really the best argument you could remember?

    Tons of scientific studies on how it’s not a gateway drug (alcohol is), how it’s not physically addictive, how it benefits creativity, how it helps regrow brain cells, protects against cancer, reduces stress, helps diminish PTSD symptoms, etc., but still it’s reefer madness with some folks!

    Seriously, I’m sick and tired of that patronizing, holier-than-thou attitude of how “it was terrible for me” or “my cousin ruined his life with it” and therefore no adults should ever do it. Let me give it to you stright: I’m sorry that your friends or family are losers. Chances are they just weren’t that bright or motivated to start with if they ended up toking all the time and not getting anything done. Chances are these are the same kinds of people who end up staring at a TV all day during their spare time. Guess what: tons of people are like that.

    Carl Sagan was an avid pot-smoker. Google it. And the CEOs in the article below never had a problem with it interfering with their work either. Or the scores of brilliant people in Silicon Valley and universities across the nation (sorry, I don’t count BYU or Bob Jones as real universities). I have plenty of intelligent, creative, wonderfully high-functioning professional friends in all walks of life who don’t have a problem with pot and enjoy it on a regular if not daily basis.

    Oh, but people won’t be responsible with it, so let’s make it illegal! Oh, that’s a great knee-jerk reaction. Better parenting or education is surely not the answer! Let’s just make everything illegal! We cannot do that for driving, since so many bone-headed people can’t figure out how to drive safely! What about hotdogs and pie? So many obese people in this country! Surely, we must protect them from themselves! And aspirin! Do you KNOW how many people it kills each year? The tragedy!

    See where I’m going with this? Let adults be adults. What’s not good for you may be good for others. Tend to your own flock, please. Or find some more-disciplined friends.

    April 21, 2013 at 5:42 pm

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