State Rep. Jake Wheatley of Pennsylvania has launched an online petition in support of his bill to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Wheatley announced his intention to sponsor the bill last month and said that he plans to introduce the measure in the state general assembly soon.
Wheatley said in a press release on Tuesday that House Bill 2600, as the measure is known, will provide benefits to the state that outweigh the risks.
“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.”
Wheatley noted that the legalization of cannabis will allow law enforcement agencies to reallocate resources and focus on more serious crime. He also said that legalizing pot will deny organized crime a significant source of revenue.
“What’s more, legalization would save taxpayers millions in enforcement costs while freeing up crime-fighting resources to combat serious, violent crime,” said Wheatley. “Prohibiting recreational use of marijuana does nothing to meaningfully reduce access to this relatively safe drug. On the other hand, continuing prohibition allows