Marijuana legalization has become a hot topic in Pennsylvania recently and it seems to be gaining some ground. The Cheltam Area Branch of the NAACP announced their support of a bill that would regulate the popular drug.
Senate Biill 528 was introduced by State Senator Daylin Leach (D-17) and it allows the possession, production, and use of marijuana by individuals who are over 21 years of age.
In June of 2013, the NAACP released a report titled, The War on Marijuana in Black and White, which stated that there have been more than eight million marijuana arrest in the United States between 2001 and 2010. The report also noted that it costs about $3.6 billion a year to enforce marijuana laws.
The bill has been picking up steam in the state and it was recently forwarded to the health committee. There’s no telling if or when it will actually be placed into the states law, but it’s surely another step towards the growth of marijuana legalization across the United States.
“We spend $350 million a year in Pennsylvania just on the arrest, incarceration and monitoring of people for marijuana-related offenses,” said Senator Leach, according to FOX 43 Central Pennsylvania. “We can save all of that if we ended prohibition. Plus, we could tax this and gain revenue.”
David Scott, the chairman of the legal redress committee for the local branch of the NAACP, also spoke out about his thoughts in the situation. He recognized the struggle with costs behind enforcing possession.
“The war on drugs is a catastrophic failure particularly on people of color,” Scott said. “So much money and resources have been spent on the war on drugs while there is an alarming while there is a lack of funds for Philadelphia and school systems in general. An ACLU report estimated in just 2010, one year, one hundred million dollars was taken from Pennsylvania taxpayers just to enforce marijuana possession.”
Do you think the new bill concerning marijuana legalization will get passed into law in Pennsylvania?