Delloso touts benefits of bill that would legalize adult-use cannabis and permit sales of it in state stores
HARRISBURG, Oct. 2 – State Rep. David Delloso hosted a news conference today to tout the benefits of the legislation he has introduced that would legalize adult-use cannabis and set the stage for it to be sold in state stores.
“As you knock on doors in Pennsylvania, you’re going to find out two things: you’re going to find young parents who find their schools under-funded and older Pennsylvanians who find themselves crushed by the weight of school-property taxes,” Delloso said. “Cannabis sales in state stores may be the answer to full-funding of schools and property tax relief.”
House Bill 1899 would pave the way for the creation of an estimated 18,000 union jobs through the sale of cannabis at state stores. It would also provide an influx of revenue to the General Fund, estimated to be $581 million annually, as well as millions more in savings to local and state law enforcement because of the decriminalization of cannabis.
“We have a state-store system that can protect our youth, a state-store system that can properly distribute and a state-store system that can properly educate.
“I’m always going to be for family sustaining jobs with a pathway toward a dignified retirement. What I’m afraid of is without this bill, if we don’t sell cannabis in the state stores, big corporate interests throughout the United States are going to come to Pennsylvania and they’re going to put corner stores up. They aren’t going to provide family sustaining jobs, and all the profits are going to leave Pennsylvania.”
House Democratic Whip Jordan Harris, D-Phila., added: “Given that a clear majority of Pennsylvanians, as well as Pennsylvania’s top statewide elected officials, support legalizing marijuana, it’s obvious that the time to act is upon us. The positive impact House Bill 1899 would have on the strain our criminal justice system is under, as well as on our state budget, is undeniable.
“I appreciate Representative Delloso for introducing this bill and bringing this much-needed conversation before us, and I look forward to expanding the conversation to provide relief to those convicted of nonviolent marijuana-related crimes. Pennsylvania simply can’t afford to be slow in responding to the changing climate regarding marijuana legalization.”
American Civil Liberties Union Communications Director Andy Hoover noted that Pennsylvania still spends tens of millions of dollars annually enforcing its ban on marijuana, doing great harm to people’s lives for no public gain.
“Criminal legal reform is having a moment, it’s embraced by Democrats and Republicans,” Hoover said. “Organizations as diverse as the ACLU and Americans for Prosperity are pushing it. Marijuana decriminalization and ultimately legalization have to be part of that reform. We are living in a time where the governor, the lieutenant governor, the attorney general, the auditor general and the DA of Philadelphia – our biggest city – all support marijuana legalization. The majority of Pennsylvanians support it.
“It's time for the General Assembly to catch up.”