PA state reps introduce bill to legalize recreational marijuana

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Three men busted for bags of marijuana in car in Bedford Co.

HARRISBURG, DAUPHIN COUNTY (WTAJ) — New legislation was unveiled to decriminalize, regulate and tax adult-use marijuana in Pennsylvania.

Introduced by State Representatives Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny) and Dan Frankel (D-Allegheny), the bill would make it legal for anyone 21 and older to purchase and consume recreational marijuana in Pa.

“We’ve heard from residents across the state, and the overwhelming majority agree it’s time to pass this initiative,” Representative Wheatley said.

Known as House Bill 2050, the proposal would provide direct participation in the cannabis industry by individuals in communities that have been impacted by the criminalization of marijuana.

“Failed cannabis policies of the past have resulted in the worst of all possible worlds: insufficient protection of the public health, aggressive enforcement that disproportionately harms communities of color and zero revenue for this commonwealth,” Representative Frankel said.

H.B. 2050 also proposes revenue collected from the marijuana sales tax would fund multiple grant programs that would benefit small, minority and women-owned businesses in Pennsylvania. The end goal for the state representatives is to have the legislation provide lasting economic and social justice impacts for the commonwealth.

“With this legislation, Pennsylvania can begin to repair the historical harms and reap the benefits of a fact-based approach to regulating the cultivation, commerce and use of cannabis for adults over 21 years old,” Frankel continued.

If passed, Pennsylvania would join 16 other states to legalize adult-use recreational marijuana including New York and New Jersey.

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