Pennsylvania became the 24th state to legalize medicinal cannabis when Governor Tom Wolfe signed SB3 in April of 2016.
Now, recreational cannabis may be in the Keystone State’s future as Representative Jake Wheatley [D-Allegheny County] introduced HB2600 yesterday, a bill to amend the Medical Marijuana Act to include adult-use.
The measure would legalize the possession and consumption of cannabis and related products and allow for the cultivation of up to six plants, with three mature, for personal use. HB2600 would also allow for the release of marijuana prisoners and expungement of cannabis convictions from their records.
“My bill would immediately release people jailed for crimes associated with cannabis,” said Wheatley in a statement. “Those who have criminal histories related to cannabis would be expunged, and professional driver’s licenses that were revoked or suspended due to cannabis-related crimes would be reinstated.”
“For far too long, the criminal justice system has unfairly punished Pennsylvanians,” he said. “Especially minorities who are caught with cannabis.”
Wheatley says that the bill would ease the financial burden on the state’s criminal justice system by allowing law enforcement to focus their efforts on serious and violent crimes and enable people to live and work without a cannabis conviction haunting them.
If HB2600 passes and becomes law, taxes collected from the resulting recreational cannabis market are estimated to bring in $500 million to the state annually.