Posted in: Politics

Marijuana Legalization Gains Support From NAACP

Senate Bill 528 is now being sent to the state health committee.

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?

 

 

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71 Responses to “Marijuana Legalization Gains Support From NAACP”

  1. Darrell Messbarger

    I'm an old man. I wouldn't use it if it was legal. I have nothing against people who do. I do have a tremendous problem with sending young men to prison for smoking something that is just a part of nature. I also have a great problem with tax monies being spent to enforce laws that are at minimum ridiculous and unenforceable. The hypocrisy of so many of our citizens desperately clinging to their "moral" outrage over MJ is disgusting. I am tired of paying for those cretin's morality. Legalize it, and if you really want the truth about marijuana, here it is – it is less harmful than alcohol, it does not produce the abhorrent behavior that a drunk often exhibits, but in the end it is a waste of time. That is the truth and something you should be telling your children.

  2. Edie Von Gradtke

    I would only hope and stand for legalization of marijuana. It seems trite that so many people are incarcerated at such a tremendous cost to the tax payers. It's a system that's outdated and needs to be brought to current standards.

  3. Don Bates

    I think its time and it will happen if they convince money hungry governor tom corbit , as he is the setback at this point.

  4. Gary Jenkins

    I don't' smuke it ither, cough, cough, pops. OK maybe for pain. Ouch! cough, cough! My brother should finish this missive.
    They have no choice but to support it, the way they lock up non – whites for this petty crap; ruining their lives just like they and setting up future criminals because they can't get a job. Assholes in government.
    IF there is a force in the universe it had better bring some sanity to this stunted.

  5. Gerald Knauss II

    I think it should pass but don't think it will. Too many people are afraid of theyre employer, brain washed family members, church, colleages, school, landlord etc. discriminateing them for not still beleiveing that the world is flat.

  6. Brian Cole

    Funny the article doesn't mention the sheer number of colored people that are incarcerated, or even arrested for EVERYTHING, but particularly weed. Would the NAACP be as worried about it if it wasn't so racially disparate on the number of non whites that are arrested versus the number of whites arrested? It doesn't matter. The fact of the matter is, our "justice" system targets minorities, and removing the archaic, draconian penalties for a plant that is less harmful than virtually all the legal pharmaceuticals that get shoved down our throats or in our veins from birth to the grave, is the right thing to do. Our nation should not claim to be the land of the free, when our incarceration rate is higher than all other nations on earth.

  7. Kon Stan Tina Halas

    Unbelievable. Both the comments and the article above. It amazes me that the day has come when a Senator can publicly say that we can save/gain money from people doing narcotics – which marijuana is, by the way. What this article fails to mention is that rarely do we meet heroin or cocaine addicts who did not start their drug use with marijuana. And as ignorant as we pretend to be, marijuana is NOT harmless. Smoking marijuana can cause significant health problems. Marijuana contains more than 400 chemicals, of which 60 are cannabinoids. Smoking a marijuana cigarette deposits about three to five times more tar into the lungs than one filtered tobacco cigarette.Marijuana smoke also contains 50 to 70 percent more carcinogenic hydrocarbons than tobacco smoke and produces high levels of an enzyme that converts certain hydrocarbons into malignant cells. Smoking marijuana can lead to increased anxiety, panic attacks, depression, social withdrawal, and other mental health problems, particularly for teens. Research shows that kids aged 12 to 17 who smoke marijuana weekly are three times more likely than nonusers to have suicidal thoughts.
    Marijuana use also can cause cognitive impairment, to include such short-term effects as distorted perception, memory loss, and trouble with thinking and problem solving. Students with an average grade of D or below were found to be more than four times as likely to have used marijuana in the past year as youths who reported an average grade of A. So, yes…by all means. Let's legalize this crap and tax it too. Hell, if prohibition of drugs is what is the problem, lets legalize cocaine and heroin too.

  8. Robb Richter

    "What a twisted head up it's ass law makers communistic world we live in now & are starting to accept to live in when it comes to nosey law makers & people getting deep down into someone's individual private stock of weapons , groceries & how fat or skinny we all are. None of the outside world's business , but our own individually what we eat or drink or have in way of legally owned firearms.
    A world where soda is banned in New York , screw that! , but Marijuana is legal in so many states & or will be legal soon in many if not all states?
    How can something legal be banned in New York , but something illegal become legal? Screw this country. Y'all can have it. I don't want it anymore. A world banning smoking of legal substances in public places like cigarettes , but legalizing marijuana all over the place. Banning our right to bear arms in most cases etc. etc. & getting on grown ass people about junk food. Bullcrap that nobody made a huge frickin' issue about 10 , 20 or 30 years ago when it had & still has the same ramifications & bad results as they do then as they do now. So much for land of the free. I say screw this 4th of July & all the rest of the 4th of July's after this. Independence Day is supposed to be about independence , not the government nit picking on us about crap that is none of their business like our own individual health statuses. So what if our health care prices go up. We have to be prepared to pay more if it means the government should stay the hell's out of our mouths & stomach's & stop trying to play mom & dad to our lifestyles as grown ass adults. Head up it's ass world of governing & law making 100%. Communism is all it is. We may as well have our own Berlin wall in front of everything that sells all things that are banned or bad for us. Screw this country. I frickin' hate it. It has lost all it's meaning over the past 2 years with all these bullcrap legal items we all consume & consumed for decades on end without a problem & now the government & law makers want to say & do something about it now. Screw the law when it comes to making legal things illegal & making illegal things legal. Topsy ass Turvy world this frickin' is. This is no longer America , the land of the free. It's the land of the communism new world take over soon enough if not already."

  9. Jeffrey Lee

    i almost liked all of it, but it is not a waste of time. it is about as much of a waste of time as playing sports or any extracurricular. life isnt just work and stay healthy. its about every experience out there within reason. so no, weed is not a waste of time. its not going to make you a better person or help ur career, but its a nice experience.

  10. Anonymous

    The NAACP protects every radical, liberal agenda and caustic, toxic trash out there in the dregs of society, and the maryjane users are only the tip of the iceburg. And many whites are locked up for it as well, and usually it is distribution, along with selling harsher drugs and being intoxicated in the first place. The drug culture shies away from telling all the 'other' things they are involved in, including porn, child abuse, spiritism, and the occult.

  11. Jeffrey Lee

    i think she copied that from fox news or something. i dont have the time to waste on answering all that is wrong with what you said, but weed does not have tar. tobacco and cigarettes have tar because the companies who produce them put them in there along with nicotine (the addicting drug). weed (partly because it is illegal) is a grass grown from weed farmers who then sell their product. nothing is added into there.

    i am not sure about this, but it may lead to increased anxiety and panic attacks like you said. with the key word being INCREASED. meaning you cant increase something if it wasn't already there. so if you dont have anxiety or panic attack, you should be ok. if you do have it, that may be another issue. but i dont know.

    there actually is less carcinogens than cigarettes and tobacco. reason being that the companies who made them added a lot more stuff. also there is a place in europe somewhere (possibly poland) where all drugs are legal and they are doing more than fine they way they are now. why is that? because the drugs used for recreation are all ok, as long as they dont get too addicting or overused. oh but wait, there are very addicting drugs and they often tend to be overused right? yes, so what they do is that they treat addiction with care and like a health problem. problem in america is that if you have a drug problem, you will not seek help because you are afraid of judgement (due to morons like Kon Stan), you will be looked down upon, and people will turn you in (and have the balls to think they are doing what is the best for you like some arrogant son of a fucken bitch). with that environment, its like we offer help, but we point the guns at them as they coming in for it. with poland, its like if you have a bad flu, you will go to the doctors.

  12. Anonymous

    Obviously you do hate people, especially whites and others you deem to control your life unjustly. Therefore, since you blame them for all your woes, you are indeed controlled by them and are admitting that you are indeed lower and less accepted and essentially a slave, sir.

  13. Greg Mahnke

    i wonder if you maybe could possibly consider that these negative effects were already underlying conditions and thats why they turned to the pot for some relief from them.

  14. Kent Anderson

    WOW dude, pretty incredible marijuana legalization topic. Suggestion that they are also child abusers are involved in the occult?? Spiritism… what is that? Porn-lets see another crime? Sometimes I'm just amazed.

    I like the line I once heard " We were going to go do something bad, but instead we smoked a joint."

  15. Anonymous

    Did you know 100% of hard drug users have sat on a toilet seat!? By my statistic toilet seats are the number 1 gateway drug. I urge you please do not sit on a toilet seat if youd like to maintain your sobriety. Back to the real fucking world where over 70% of americans have smoked weed and none of them woke up saying "god i was so stoned last night, i shouldnt have yelled at.., had sex with…, called..(you fill in the blanks). Such as you would with alcohol. Your lucky i was stoned enough to take the time and shed some knowledge on your stupid ass.

  16. Dylan Ciraulo

    to simply put it, the fact that you compared it to a cigarette shows how ignorant you are. you need to spark up a fatty, it would make you less narrow minded.

  17. Chris Brown

    she is obviously retarded when it come to marijuana, which is not a narcotic.. basically what you do when you outlaw weed is anybody that gets weed are exposed to other drugs.. which is why people can call it a gateway drug… when you legalize it you now have a legal place to go get marijuana without being exposed to pills, coke, and other drugs.. so in effect it would be the same as alcohol in society.. without all the drunk driving and poisoning.. way safer. people just cruise when there high, no need to get anywhere in a hurry.. lol.. o and I forgot my whole point.. she's pretty ignorant but man I would like to hit that.. very nice, how much?

  18. Terrance Hill

    @Kon Stan if everything that you said is true in your post, then do so many states approve Medical Marijuana? So they didn't do their research? I have been smoking for almost 20 years and at no point have I ever wanted to try anything else or have I tried anything else. I think it's BS when everyone try say Marijuana is a gateway drug. It's the person not the not the weed. How many cocaine and heroin addicts do you know. So some dumbass study interviews 100 people that speaks for everyone who has ever smoked weed, please. Do some more research and see the help that it does. It's less harmful that cigarettes. Hell it's less harmful than coffee. You can get addicted to caffeine. But not weed, it's only a mental thing. You need to worry about Greece and not over here

  19. Richard Cowgill Jr.

    The government needs to step up now before all states have to unite their own laws spite of the government, weed is so less harmful in all aspects compared to alcohol & tobacco & Obama could make history & increase his all time low life rating by being the president who does NOT say "just say no!" & legalizes the erb we all have needed for years for pain, mental, stress.chronic pain cancer and so much more :)

  20. Todd Stewart

    The basis of most of your argument is that the "smoking is bad…which I agree, But we now have new advances to safley use this medicine without smoking it. Vaporizers and oils are just one way. And YES I agree very bad for children…nobody is arguing that. Finally you say itdoes/can cause mental problems. Thats your best point but one could argue the stress not relieved by something like MJ a CNS depressant could make someone crazier. The study would be impossible to do but you need to realize..if alcohol is legal which I believe can cause many and does cause many more health and safety concerns why shouldnt MJ. Weather you like it or not it will be legal within a generation. I would bet heavy on it. And as with everything moderation is key. Should we illegalize everything bad for us? The more rules the more the failure and increased in spending leaves us more broke. That same money could generate much more good than it prevents. For example that 100 of millions made on taxing could be for programs helping people get back on track. Legalizing wont change the use of marijuana…it will only shift the power to a more effecient and better agenda.

  21. Norhassan Ali Usman

    legalize it… by legalizing it you are cutting unnecessary spendings and you are adding tax revenues in your state… come on pennsylvania, do it!

  22. Norm Vana

    lets just say would I rather deal with someone high or drunk? as a former bartender. dunk people are more often to change personalities way more than a person high , and saying that id rather be a weedtender any day..

  23. Adam Turner

    The whole war on pot is stupid and hypocritical. U.S. used to pay farmers to grow it. Then after political influences i.e. monies going to "certain" political parties" they out-lawed it. Then arrested this farmers for possession of one seed would deem life in prison. Let's think about all the plant can be used for:
    Hempcrete "look it up"
    Plastic Industries
    Oil
    Gas
    Clothing
    That's off the top of my head….anyway the above items indicated what the plant can used for the manufacturing.
    What does this mean? Life on this planet will be affordable. Besides it is the only way to reduce the national deficit.
    My prediction?
    Oil and gas reduced by 25%
    Clothing will last longer
    Homes will last longer "hempcrete, look it up"
    Groceries will drop in price as would all household items because of the reduced price in gas "heminol, look it up"
    Thus the entire economy would be awesome! It's more than a drug that will get you high!
    Just my prediction agree disagree.
    Lets hope people look at the big picture!

  24. Brian Cole

    aurozenn How about a little surprise for you? I am white. I just see the war on drugs as what it is, a way to fill private prisons for the profits of the wealthy. A way to continue massive profits for a pharmaceutical industry that kills thousands a year with federal blessing. Your evident inference that I am a colored individual indicates you have an issue with race for some reason. I know something that is a massive surprise for some people. WE ARE ALL HUMAN. No one of us in inherently more valuable or deserving of justice than any other individual.

  25. Robert Kelley

    I Agree – – Legalize it.
    Stop wasting my Tax dollars on attempts to stop its usefulness.

  26. Jim Heffner

    aurozenn, Do you own a white robe with a pointy hood and burn crosses in the dark? Try and get your head around, that in the world there are controller/haters and civil libertarians/high empathy types, which are you? By the way it's the 21st Century, not 1934.

    and it harm none, do what you will

  27. Gary Brumley

    dumbest laws on the books. Too much money going into fighting it. Too many people enjoying the punishment side of the dollar.

  28. Gary Brumley

    Thank a Vietnam veteran for bringing in the good seeds. All america knew was rope weed at the time.

  29. Elroy Jetson

    There is great profits to be made from the war on drugs for people but there is no war on education because there is no profit from it.

  30. Jim Getz

    Oh, and by the way, cannabinoids are beneficial to all living beings. That is why the majority of mammals have an endocannabinoid system. Ignorance is something to be ashamed of.

  31. Anonymous

    Dale Gieringer, PhD, State Coordinator of the California National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), stated in his 2004 article "Cannabis Vaporizer Combines Efficient Delivery of THC with Effective Suppression of Pyrolytic Compounds," published in the Journal of Cannabis Therapeutics, where he compared the chemical constituents of marijuana smoke (from a glass pipe) with marijuana vapor (from a vaporizer machine):

    "Aside from the cannabinoids, only three other compounds were tentatively identified in the vapor gas, and one in the solvated condensate. The three were caryophyllene (a aromatic terpene found in cannabis and other plants), plus two other compounds of undetermined origin… THC accounted for a nominal 94.3% of the inferred estimated mass [of vaporized marijuana]…

    Comparison runs using combusted [burned] cannabis presented a strikingly different picture… Review data from the gaseous headspace detected 111 tentatively identified compounds, including THC and CBN. Included were five known PAHs [polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons]. Cannabinoids represented only 12% of the inferred recovered mass; the remaining 88% consisted of extraneous products of combustion."

    Vaporizers are expensive, but very effective and so much better than combustion. Kon Stan Tina Halas forgot to mention this very important fact, so I thought I would enlighten her a little.

  32. Anonymous

    White man is shitt*ng in his pants. No more money in your till!

  33. Darrell Messbarger

    Jeffrey Lee the biggest concern people have is that their children will spend ALL of their time stoned. Marijuana got its following when young people found out that their parents were lying to them about the ill-affects that never materialized. Honesty is the only way to go where children are concerned. It was the lying to them that drove so many to lose themselves in anything and everything anti-establishment. Parents should not be the enemy.

  34. Darrell Messbarger

    It amazes me how someone could take, what was clearly a heartfelt disdain for one of the truly great evils of our time and criticize the writer. ANYONE serving time for a marijuana offense is strictly and completely the tyrannical expression of a government that is controlled by psuedo moralistic morons. People like you, aurozenn, are just a pillar of that "righteous" crap. Brian, I hate people too.

  35. Terri Rose

    Funny, as I was trying to get to this article a popup for drug rehab and an ad for Budweiser both popped up. I believe it is a crime to US citizens that marijuana is illegal! Alcohol (which has so many problems assoc. with it) is not only legal but their commercials are practically pouring it down our throats ( watch any sporting event. late night TV show or even prime time sitcom where everyone is drinking alcohol). And don't get me started on the pharmaceutical commercials. Marijuana has proven medicinal value and a calming , relaxing effect. How can this not help society? I truly believe the the Alcohol and Pharm. Trades are literally halting Marijuana's legalization because they know that will cut into their profits. It's all about greed. It is like a cruel joke to those of us who do not consume alcohol and do not wish to be killed by pharmaceutical drugs. signed : A responsible adult who advocates marijuana legalization!

  36. Wayne-Chuck Reynolds

    I have no problem with the retards of the world smoking themselves into oblivion! And that is exactly what you are if you smoke weed! Just MY opinion! OK, time for you retards to weigh in! Free Speech is for ALL to enjoy!

  37. Robyn Morin

    I can more then respect your view point, though I do disagree that it's a waste of time. For a lot of people, it helps calm them down, relieves pain, can hep a person sleep, and can even nudge them along in organizing the thoughts of a racing mind. However, as I said, I respect your view point as there are also many people who do not smoke it because they gain nothing from it and to that I say, simply, "To each there own.".

  38. Wayne-Chuck Reynolds

    Timothy Lang, read it and weep, Retard! She speaks the truth while you speak with a slurred tongue!

  39. Wayne-Chuck Reynolds

    Those incarcerated are merely those who have been CAUGHT and CONVICTED!

  40. Darrell Messbarger

    "Constantina" I agree we should legalize all drugs. As long as tobacco is legal, everything else should be too. Don't confuse your limited understanding with reality. Every point you made is strictly from the DEA songbook.

  41. Shane Grayson

    @Darrell I personally don't believe it's mainly because they think their children will get stoned, mainly because there are so many other factors (can't get into them in a short Facebook post). For the most part, parents can do some research and see that there are two major strains of marijuana: indica and sativa. indica is a more energetic high. When I smoke good indica weeds I usually need to do things so I don't feel "worthless," which prompts me to do housework, homework, workout, etc. Where as Sativa is the kind of high you described most parents would fear for their children, the lazy, mellow mood high.

    What I am trying to say in short is (and not to you , but to the misinformed parents) do your own research and make your own decisions. One thing to keep in mind, and should scare everyone is that marijuana is a substance scientists cannot study due to some laws that prohibit them from possessing marijuana, but are open to all other drugs (http://www.mpp.org/assets/pdfs/library/Federal-Obstruction-of-MMJ-Research-1.pdf).

  42. Darrell Messbarger

    Some comments have been made concerning various deleterious affects of marijuana. I am a retired analytical chemist and the following is fact. 1) Tar is a byproduct of burning plant materials. It is present in both tobacco and marijuana. The amount depends upon the incomplete burning of these plants. Stems and seeds will not burn as readily as leaf or flowers (buds) and it is common for pot to produce more tar than cigarettes. (Check your bong after just a few puffs.) A more conscientious cleaning of the weed will result in lower tar production. 2) The carcinogenic materials that result from cigarettes are also present in pot. They are also created due to pyrolysis (incomplete combustion) of the plant materials. (poly-Aromatic Hydrocarbons or PAHs) The tobacco companies have spend many millions of dollars to remove the tar from cigarettes. However, pot is probably far less damaging to the human body because of the limited amount that is smoked even by a heavy user. Also there are other ways to enjoy pot, such as brownies, or cookies that present little or no problems outside of your restroom smelling like hay following its usage. Chronic heavy usage can lead to a myriad of health problems, but few people smoke it to that level. 3) It is not physiologically addictive. There are no compounds that mimic the horribly addictive nature of nicotine. Psychological addiction is another story, and I have known many people who loved the sensation so much that they acted deprived when they didn't have any. They did not start foaming at the mouth, become delusional, or try to hold up a liquor store because of it. 4) Compared to alcohol it is benign. I would rather have a stoned smoker on the road than someone drunk to the point of carelessness. (As long as they stay in the right lane). If rating marijuana against cigarettes, cigarettes are clearly more dangerous and have killed more people over the last couple of centuries that any war, pestilence, or disaster. Equating tobacco's affects to MJ is ludicrous. Finally, alcohol kills many more people every year than most realize. If comparing, MJ would be much preferable. The last I read, there has never been a death associated with MJ use.

  43. Joseph Del Guidice

    I'm sorry I don't how to address you so I'll just call you Tina, What drugs are you taking? If your not taking any then you should see a psychiatrist right away because you seem to have a condition called pathetic misinformation. You can cure this by smoking two joints a day and eating at least five chocolate chip cookies and a big glass of milk which will come on to you about five minutes after you finish the joints. That is about all symptoms you will get from Marijuana…enjoy!

  44. Darrell Messbarger

    Good post, Shane. There are differences in plant species. I was really addressing the misguided morality that too many people try to inflict on the rest of society.

  45. Chris Lindley

    it would get us out of bebt.saves thousands of lives.and help all kind of people.i smoke.been smoking about 24 years.and I will keep smoking until the day my toes are turn up.it has saved my life so many times.

  46. Darrell Messbarger

    Check into how many young black men are incarcerated for marijuana related crimes.

  47. Don Blair

    You should really check some facts before making yourself look this silly. First off, despite what your D.A.R.E. instructor may have told you, marijuana is not a narcotic. Narcotics are drugs derived from opium or synthetic opiates, by the way :) . Maybe you are confusing "narcotic" with "illegal". Was alcohol a narcotic back in the '20s. Even by that rationale, if this bill passes, marijuana would cease to be a narcotic. And while I agree with you that marijuana is not harmless, it's pretty effin close. If marijuana contains over 400 chemicals, name one that is carcinogenic, neurotoxic, or posseses a low LD50. As far as a marijuana cigarrette containing 3-5 times more tar than tobacco, there are ways of ingesting marijuana without having to burn it. Edibles, vaporization, tinctures, and concentrates have all been steadily gaining popularity. Those methods completely eliminate any possible health hazard associated with smoking. And recent studies have shown cannabis can actually help protect against cancer. People who smoke both cigarrettes and marijuana are less likely to develop cancer than those who smoke only tobacco. I could continue this spiel for an hour or two, but I'm tired and going to sleep. I would love to hear your rebuttal, though. I am always up for a debate on this subject

  48. Cody Grensted-Giles

    Here's a tip: If you're writing an article and are going to use an acronym you should use the full name first before resorting to it. How is anyone without knowledge of what NAACP stands for supposed to understand the article? Sure I can Google it but that's not the point. You're a journalist act like one. It's become rare to find an article on this site with proper the grammar and punctuation.

  49. Clara Lopez

    only piensan en mierda…,busca trabajo..,ponte a trabajar que estas muy viejo para que sigas viviendo con mamita..,