Wheatley launches online petition to legalize marijuana

Urges citizens to sign in support of upcoming bill

HARRISBURG, Aug. 21 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, announced today that he is launching an online petition in support of his legislation to legalize marijuana for adult recreational use in the commonwealth.

The petition, which is available online here, outlines the ways in which legalization would benefit the commonwealth and points to the success and popularity of the state’s medical marijuana program.

“There are tremendous benefits to legalizing marijuana and few downsides,” Wheatley said. “It’s estimated that legalization would generate more than $580 million in annual tax revenue for Pennsylvania. That’s money to balance our budget, strengthen our economy, bolster our workforce and improve our schools.

“What’s more, legalization would save taxpayers millions in enforcement costs while freeing up crime-fighting resources to combat serious, violent crime. Prohibiting recreational use of marijuana does nothing to meaningfully reduce access to this relatively safe drug. On the other hand, continuing prohibition allows organized crime – for whom marijuana is a major money-maker – to flourish.”

Wheatley added that nine other states plus the District of Columbia have already legalized marijuana and are seeing huge benefits. He said he plans to encourage all of his colleagues to support the legislation.