Residents of the Keystone State will gather in Harrisburg on January 23, 2018 to speak with legislators about legalizing marijuana in an event co-sponsored by local NORML chapters, the ACLU-PA and the Keystone Cannabis Coalition.
A press conference is planned at 10:00 a.m. that will feature elected officials, advocates, medical marijuana patients and cannabis consumers. Rep. Jordan Harris, Rep. Ed Gainey, Pa. Auditor General Eugene Depasquale, and National NORML political director Justin Strekal will be among those delivering remarks.
“The war on marijuana has unnecessarily damaged hundreds of thousands of lives, at great cost to the commonwealth. Once people are entangled with the criminal justice system, there are ripple effects that impact their daily lives,” said Elizabeth Randol, legislative director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, “It is time for Pennsylvania to get out of the business of criminalizing cannabis and let consumers have access to a product that poses no threat to public safety.”
Lehigh Valley NORML is spearheading the event with NORML chapters from Pittsburgh, South Philly and Lancaster sending volunteers to supply education tables and make office visits.
“We arrive in Harrisburg determined to persuade our policymakers to follow the strong sentiment of Pennsylvania voters by ending our prohibition on marijuana, “ said Jeff Riedy of Lehigh Valley NORML.
This will be the first of several planned marijuana rally events in Harrisburg with NORML chapters in 2018. Advocates are asking for legislators to immediately pass a bill to decriminalize marijuana statewide and launch legislation, or at least a study commission, on full legalization.
Pennsylvania police are arresting 55 people for cannabis possession every day - more than 20,000 during 2017 - equal to all other drug possession arrests, combined.
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