Senator Pa. Regan proposes to legalize adult cannabis to fund state police and community programs


Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Regan, R-York, said legalization of cannabis for adult use was “inevitable.”

And rather than “sit idly by” and let his colleagues draft a bill, he is proposing his own – a bill that would legalize cannabis for those 21 and over and use the projected income to fund police. ‘State and community programs.

“For decades, marijuana has been used by adult residents of the state, but such use has benefited financially and perpetuated organized crime, gangs and cartels,” said Regan, who chairs the Senate Committee on Law and Justice, written in a Monday Memo ask colleagues for their support. “The marijuana sold on the streets by these organizations is often associated with illicit drugs and toxic additives, and these criminals are responsible for the violence, chaos and murder in our state and our country. “

He added, “Pennsylvanians deserve not only safe neighborhoods, but for those who choose to use marijuana, access to a safe and reliable product. “

Medicinal cannabis has been legal in Pennsylvania since 2016.

Citing the “success” of the state medical marijuana programRegan said it was possible to legalize cannabis for adult use, noting the “proven benefits” for health purposes. He added that it could also take the pressure off law enforcement and prosecutors. Instead, they could focus on “protecting our residents from violent criminals and large-scale drug importers who also sell heroin and fentanyl” – not petty offenses.

After Colorado legalized recreational cannabis in 2012, 18 other states followed suit.

According to Centers for Disaster Control and Prevention, overdose of cannabis is unlikely. Signs of binge drinking include extreme confusion, anxiety, paranoia, panic, rapid heartbeat, delusions or hallucinations, increased blood pressure, and severe nausea or vomiting. In some cases, these reactions can lead to unintentional injury.

Estimating $ 1 billion a year from tax revenue generated by legalization, Regan proposes directing funds to cities fighting violent crime, organizations offering after-school programs to youth in “poor” neighborhoods, and forces of the order for equipment, training and education.

Regan also offers to dedicate income to Pennsylvania State Police to rebuild the Motor License Fund, the money raised from the state gasoline tax that has served as an important source of funding for state law enforcement.

“This will then allow for an appropriate investment in Pennsylvania roads and bridges, offsetting the construction costs of our 21st century transportation needs and eliminating the alleged need for PennDOT.” bridge toll plan, “he wrote.” Plus, a solid infrastructure will lead to more job creators and entrepreneurs to invest in Pennsylvania’s economic future.

Regan is the second lawmaker in the GOP Senate group to support the legalization of cannabis for adult use. Senator Dan Laughlin, R-Erie, introduced a bill to legalize cannabis for adult use with Senator Sharif Street, D-Philadelphia, in February.

Last month, State Representatives Jake Wheatley and Dan Frankel, Democrats from Allegheny County, presented legislation. Their proposal would legalize cannabis for adult use and use the revenue collected from a sales tax to establish grant programs for small businesses, minorities and women.

It’s a proposal welcomed by Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman, both Democrats. However, it is unlikely to pass through the Republican-controlled General Assembly.

In 2019, House Speaker Bryan Cutler, R-Lancaster, who opposed medical cannabis, said legalization was not the “right move” to help those struggling with addiction. Earlier this year, Cutler’s chief of staff told PennLive he was not a priority.

In February, Jason Gottesman, spokesman for House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, R-Center, told the York Daily Record there is no support for legalization within the caucus.

When Wolf brought up legalization in 2018, Pro Tempore Senate Speaker Jake Corman, R-Center, called it “reckless and irresponsible. “He is committed to doing everything in his power to prevent legalization.

“Recreational marijuana is a mind-altering drug that will harm our young people because it is a depressant and an access drug to other illegal substances,” he said in a statement. “Combine that with a lack of credible research into societal costs and opposition from prosecutors, the medical community, and law enforcement, and you have the makings of a disaster.”


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