PITTSBURGH – A Pennsylvania state representative has introduced legislation to legalize marijuana.
The bill, submitted by Rep. Jake Wheatley, would permit the recreational use of cannabis products for adults 21 or older.
The bill would also expunge the records of people jailed on pot-related crimes.
“My bill would immediately release people jailed for crimes associated with cannabis,” Wheatley said in a news release. “Those who have criminal histories related to cannabis would be expunged, and professional and 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, especially minorities, who are caught with cannabis.”
According to Wheatley, the bill will create savings to the criminal justice system by freeing up resources.
The bill also would impose a tax would generate $500 million in revenue for the state annually.
“I propose that with the revenue generated from a wholesale, sales and retail tax, we could deposit 85 percent of it into the General Fund and provide the Department of Corrections with the other 15 percent,” he said. “That money would go toward positive things such as re-entry programs, workforce development and expungement services, along with mentoring and technical assistance in our communities.”
According to a release outlining the bill, 6o percent of people live in Pennsylvania support legalization.