It marks the first time any Pa. Republican senator has endorsed a plan to end the prohibition on cannabis.
For years, Democrats in Pennsylvania’s legislature have introduced bills to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use. But without any Republican support, those bills were dead on arrival.
On Wednesday, the landscape shifted. State Sen. Dan Laughlin, a Republican from Erie, proposed new legalization legislation — but with a conservative stamp.
Laughlin’s measure would set up a cannabis industrythat encourages small businesses and includes language to render moot a federal rule that supposedly bars marijuana users from buying guns.
It marked the first time that any state Republican legislator has endorsed a plan to end the prohibition on cannabis.
“Pennsylvania has virtually already legalized marijuana through the medical program,” Laughlin said Wednesday. “All you have to say is that you have a bad back and you’re in. This bill simply recognizes reality.”
Fourteen states allow adults to consume cannabis. At least 35 states permit it for medical use.
Laughlin’s proposal comes during the same week that New Jersey legalized cannabis for all adults, although sales there are not expected to start immediately. The Virginia legislature made weed legal earlier this month and expects retail sales to begin in 2024. [Read More @ The Philadelphia Inquirer]