Pennsylvanians are turning to cannabis in increasing numbers as the state looks to regulate it for patient safety, tax benefit and to address social justice issues, according to High Times.
Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro has proposed a radical fiscal plan in his latest budget, which includes levying a tax on marijuana sales – despite cannabis still being illegal in the state. This proposal is seen as a major gesture towards the possibility of legalizing cannabis and all its associated benefits within the Keystone State.
Legally-purchased medical cannabis is regulated for safety by the state, with producers paying for the costs of managing the program. However, illegal sales are still occurring with no regulation on what is contained in the products or where they come from. This has led to an unequal enforcement of cannabis laws with black Pennsylvanians 3.5 times more likely than their white counterparts to be arrested for using cannabis, according to Pennsylvania State Police data compiled by NORML.
In response, lawmakers are proposing a legal and regulatory framework to control and regulate cultivation, processing, transportation, distribution, delivery and sale at retail of cannabis products- aiming to ensure consumer safety while also promoting economic equity and preventing substance use disorder while generating revenue.
Despite these proposals, however, it remains unclear if or when a legalization bill will be passed in Pennsylvania.