State Senator Daylin Leach and Law Enforcement and Medical Advocates Discuss Marijuana Legalization Efforts in Pennsylvania
Momentum Growing in States After Voters in Colorado and Washington State Legalized Marijuana in November
WHO: * PA State Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware)
* Neill Franklin, Executive Director, Law Enforcement Against Prohibition
* David Nathan, M.D., clinical associate professor at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, teaches psychiatry in Princeton, New Jersey
WHAT: Press conference announcing introduction of Pennsylvania legislation to tax and regulate marijuana like alcohol
WHEN: Monday, February 11, 2013 at 2 p.m.
WHERE: Capitol Media Center, Room 1 in the East Wing of the Capitol Building, Harrisburg
In November, voters in Washington State and Colorado voted to legalize, tax and regulate marijuana. Legislators in other states have announced plans to introduce similar legislation in their states. Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach is introducing a bill to tax and regulate marijuana in Pennsylvania. Senator Leach believes that ending marijuana prohibition will raise revenue for Pennsylvania and bring an end to a failed policy of prohibition. "This past November, the people of Washington State and Colorado voted to fully legalize marijuana," said Leach. "It is time for Pennsylvania to be a leader in jettisoning this modern-day prohibition, and ending a policy that has been destructive, costly and anti-scientific."
Also present at the press conference will be Neill Franklin, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. "Cops see the ineffectiveness and harms of marijuana prohibition up close, every day," says Franklin, a retired Baltimore narcotics cop. "Keeping marijuana illegal doesn't significantly reduce use, but it does give tax-free profits to violent gangs and cartels that control the black market. Now, thanks to Sen. Leach's proposal, Pennsylvania has a chance to join Colorado and Washington in letting police focus on the job we signed up to do -- keeping the public safe -- instead of being distracted by chasing down marijuana users."
Dr. David Nathan believes that the criminalization of marijuana does little to limit its use and is inconsistent with the public health approach taken to similar substances. "Our nation can acknowledge the dangers of cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana while still permitting their use," says Nathan. "The only logically and morally consistent argument for marijuana prohibition necessitates the criminalization of all harmful recreational drugs, including alcohol, nicotine and caffeine. We can agree that such an infringement on personal freedoms is as impractical as it is un-American. The time has come to accept that our nation's attitude toward marijuana has been misguided for generations and that the only rational approach to cannabis is to legalize, regulate and tax it."