(Center Yard) — The Pennsylvania General Assembly has spent a lot of time in committee meetings discussing whether recreational marijuana should be legalized, but federal disruptions may be more important than statewide actions.
Even if state politicians cut a deal to approve recreational use, the federal ban — and the following risks — cause problems for marijuana-related businesses and private citizens.
Although a medical marijuana program has existed in Pennsylvania since 2016, its operation depends, in part, on federal law enforcement’s refusal to prosecute users.
One issue that complicates the legalization process concerns the Second Amendment. Ministry of Justice still argue In federal court, medical marijuana patients should be barred from owning guns because “it is dangerous to trust regular marijuana users to make sound decisions,” a recent Florida filing explained.
Gun owners who use marijuana, for medical or recreational purposes, are subject to federal prosecution. as such Law Standing, possession of a medical marijuana card makes it illegal for Pennsylvania to apply for a license to carry a firearm.
After the Second Amendment, banking and insurance issues still linger.
Companies linked to marijuana cannot access the banking system due to the risk of federal sanctions. The problem is serious enough that the National Conference of State Legislatures Announce a policy change To support cannabis bank reform. While the General Assembly has seen some bills proposed to expand banking and insurance access to cannabis companies, state law does not replace federal law.
Poor driving and worker safety were also roadblocks. Senator Judy Ward, R Hollidesburg, warned of dangers in the workplace with disabled employees operating heavy machinery, such as The Center Square Previously mentioned.
State law classifies any driver as having any trace of cannabis in their system, although marijuana users can test positive days after smoking or ingesting a substance. in June, A bill has been submitted In the General Assembly to change the law, but is waiting for action in the Senate Transportation Committee.
Despite outstanding problems, political leaders in the state have expressed support for legalization.
Governor Tom Wolf supports the legalization of recreational marijuana. “You want to #LegalizeIt. I said I would sign it into law,” Wolf chirp in August. “But first, we need the legislature to get the bill to my office.”
Not all Republicans are against recreational legalization.
Senator Mike Reagan, a Republican, has been a staunch supporter of the legislation. “In the simplest terms, our choices are between safe or unsafe; tested or untested; age-controlled or accessible to all; and tax returns or criminal gains,” Reagan, who chairs the Senate Law and Justice Committee, Wrote In an editorial. That is why I came to my current belief that we must legalize adult use of marijuana, also known as cannabis – to protect our communities.
Federal marijuana legalization would simplify some of the problems at the state level. A federal bill to do so was Suggestion by Senator Chuck Schumer, Democrat of New York, but is unlikely to pass in the current session.
Despite the challenges, the vast majority of Pennsylvania supports legalizing recreational use.
Potential tax revenue caught the attention of Republican lawmakers. Some estimates predict that the Commonwealth could make $5 billion or $6 billion annually if it were to legalize marijuana. Public support and economic possibilities may push the General Assembly to act despite the remaining risks and problems.