PA Gov Urges State Homies to Make Weed Legal

PA Gov Urges State Homies to Make Weed LegalYo, peeps! It’s your boy, Dan, coming at you with the latest news from Pennsylvania. So check it out, Governor Josh Shapiro is calling on state lawmakers to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana. According to him, it’s time for Pennsylvania to catch up with its neighboring states that have already taken this step. The governor dropped this bomb during his annual budget address where he unveiled a massive $48.3 billion spending plan for the state.

In his address, Shapiro straight-up told those lawmakers, “I ask you to come together and send to my desk a bill that legalizes marijuana. But that bill should ensure the industry is regulated and taxed responsibly.” He wants this thing done right, ya dig?

Now, here’s the deal: the governor’s budget proposal doesn’t lay out a specific plan for cannabis legalization, but it does call for a 20% tax on recreational marijuana. He’s thinking we’ll start selling this stuff in January 2025 and make a cool $14.8 million in tax revenue during the first year alone. Shapiro even expects that number to skyrocket to around $250 million annually once the regulated industry is all set up and running smoothly. That’s some serious dough, my friends!

But wait, there’s more! Shapiro thinks we’re missing out on a sweet industry by not legalizing and regulating marijuana. He says it could bring in over $250 million every year. And not only that, but by keeping it illegal, we’re just feeding the black market and wasting valuable resources that could be used by law enforcement. It’s time to get with the program, people!

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In his written explanation of the state budget, Shapiro’s team suggests that some of that sweet tax revenue should go towards “restorative justice initiatives” to address the injustices caused by marijuana prohibition laws. Specifically, he wants lawmakers to pass legislation to expunge the records of people who got busted for possessing small amounts of weed. It’s time to right some wrongs, folks!

Now, let’s talk about where all that sweet tax money is gonna go. The Department of Agriculture and the Pennsylvania State Police are about to get a piece of the pie. The rest of the cash will go into the state’s general fund. Gotta keep the money flowing, am I right?

But here’s the kicker: most Pennsylvanians are totally down with legalizing weed. According to Governor Shapiro, a majority of voters in our state support adult-use cannabis. And get this, five out of six of our neighbors have already ended the prohibition of marijuana. Ohio, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland are all on board. So why are we lagging behind?

One person who’s hyped about this whole situation is Ben Kovler, the big boss at Green Thumb Industries. His company runs 18 medical marijuana dispensaries in Pennsylvania and he’s all for legalizing adult-use cannabis. He even said, “We applaud Pennsylvania Governor Josh Shapiro for prioritizing adult-use cannabis legalization this year.” Kovler believes it’s time to end Prohibition 2.0 and help communities thrive by providing safe access to high-quality cannabis.

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In case you didn’t know, Pennsylvania already legalized medical marijuana back in 2016 with the Medical Marijuana Act. Patients with serious medical conditions can get their hands on some dank herb. Conditions like cancer, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, multiple sclerosis, post-traumatic stress disorder, and terminal illness qualify peeps for medical weed.

As of last year, we had a total of 134 licensed medical marijuana dispensaries in operation. And get this, over 1.3 million patients have been certified to use medical marijuana in Pennsylvania since the program started. That’s a whole lot of people finding relief with some green medicine.

Now here’s where things get tricky. While legalizing recreational marijuana is popular with some lawmakers, especially the Democrats, it might be a tough battle in the Pennsylvania Senate. Senator Kim Ward, the Senate majority leader, straight-up said she won’t support legalization until the federal government ends cannabis prohibition. So we’ll see how this all plays out.

That’s the scoop, my peeps. Governor Shapiro is throwing down the gauntlet and challenging state lawmakers to make marijuana legal. The people want it, our neighbors have it, and it’s time for Pennsylvania to step up and join the party. Let’s blaze a trail towards a brighter future!

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