Wheatley announces updated legislation on adult-use cannabis
Bill would also enact unprecedented criminal and social justice reforms
HARRISBURG, Feb. 18 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley has introduced updated legislation to legalize adult-use cannabis, which includes provisions to help disadvantaged populations and victims of the war on drugs.
Wheatley, D-Allegheny, said residents and other concerned individuals have continuously raised issues with him surrounding access – notably for the low-income working class – to the state’s medical marijuana program. Moreover, this lack of access disproportionately impacts people of color. These issues include lack of reliable transportation to a medical dispensary, failure to find a physician in their community to prescribe cannabis for their health condition, or financial concerns.
House Bill 2050 would allow the legal sale of adult-use cannabis through a permitting structure for growers, processors and dispensaries, with a portion of the sale of cannabis earmarked for social programs, including after-school programs for youth, student loan forgiveness and affordable housing. The measure includes his Cannabis Clean Slate initiative, which would allow for the expungement of cannabis-related offenses for non-violent drug offenders.
“With one bill, we can accomplish a great deal here in Pennsylvania: undo the damage that’s been caused for over 40 years by an overzealous criminal justice system intent on criminalizing people for minor drug offenses, and create a comprehensive marketplace to legally sell cannabis to adults,” Wheatley said. “A portion of the funds will also provide revenue to invest in programs to help revitalize and strengthen our disadvantaged communities.”
Wheatley added that significant statewide support exists for legal adult-use cannabis.
“Governor Wolf and Lieutenant Governor Fetterman have heard from Pennsylvanians across the state who have supported legalization of adult-use cannabis – the time is now to make it a reality, and we have the opportunity to get it right the first time around,” Wheatley said.
A copy of Rep. Wheatley’s report on adult-use cannabis, including details on H.B. 2050, can be found at this link: https://www.pahouse.com/files/Documents/Newsletter/2020-02-18_123701__019%20Cannabis%20Report%20NM%20NL%201219.pdf
Video of today’s news conference can be found at the following link: https://www.pahouse.com/wheatleypresser021820.