"States from coast to coast have embraced legalization and those states are reaping the economic and criminal justice benefits," said state Rep.
Wheatley cited a report released last week by state Auditor General
The revenue predictions were based on a 35 percent tax and surveys that show about 800,000 Pennsylvanians admit to being regular marijuana users.
DePasquale also said the revenue generated through legalized marijuana could benefit the
"This is why it comes as no surprise that recent polling shows that a majority of Pennsylvanians support legalization," Wheatley said. "This is an idea whose time has come."
Wheatley's bill would create a retail market for marijuana and expunge the criminal records of those convicted of marijuana-related crimes that would be lawful under the new legislation.
Polling has shown that about 60 percent of
Wheatley said legalization is "the natural path forward" following the state's implementation of its new medical marijuana program. "I am pleased to see that many of our most in-need residents are able to improve their health," he said, "but I believe we can do more."
"Pennsylvanians have spoken," he wrote. "They know the once ugly stigma behind marijuana is just a part of history now, and instead see the revenue generated and the reduced spending and incarceration in our criminal justice system as the way forward."
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