PHILADELPHIA – April 20, 20223 –Senator Street issued the following statement on 420 Day.
The end of cannabis prohibition in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania is near. In 2021 bipartisan legislation (Senate Bill 473) was introduced by Senator Dan Laughlin(R) and me, which will be the starting point for the bill we will introduce in 2023 to legalize the adult use of cannabis in Pennsylvania.
We have a unique and singular opportunity to correct decades of mass incarceration, disproportionate enforcement against marginalized communities, the criminalization of personal choice and the perpetuation of violence, which all materialized from the failed war on drugs. Legalizing the adult use of cannabis will help us fully and equitably fund education, lower property taxes, and address a variety of needs from mitigating gun violence to ensuring toxic-free learning environments for our youth.
I’ve continued to work with stakeholders and members of both chambers – Republicans and Democrats – to craft the most comprehensive bill we can, responsibly creating an Adult Use market – regulated by a Cannabis Regulatory Control Board – with restorative justice and social and economic equity at its core. My legislation will prioritize safety, patient rights, champion personal choice, seal and expunge the records of those impacted by the disparate enforcement of our drug laws and strive for low barriers to entry of, as well as diverse – small businesses, black and brown communities, farmers – participation in the emerging cannabis marketplace. The legislation will also preserve the already existing infrastructure of Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Marketplace.
We’re talking to patients, criminal justice reform advocates, first responders, small business owners, farmers, and marginalized communities to ensure our legislation reflects the diversity of the people and communities it will impact.
I’m encouraged by Governor Shapiro’s budget proposal, which includes a 20% tax on the wholesale price of marijuana. I’m committed to getting a bill on his desk and confident we’ll get it done this legislative session.