John Hanger probably has the medical marijuana vote.
Hanger, a Democratic candidate for Pennsylvania governor, today proposed a three-step reform of marijuana laws starting with the immediate allowance of marijuana for medical purposes.
Hanger, former state Department of Environmental Protection secretary, also proposes to reduce the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana to a summary offense, similar to a traffic ticket, by 2015.
The third step would be to regulate and tax marijuana use by 2017 if the previous reforms succeed and after monitoring the experiences in states that have legalized marijuana use, he said.
Hanger said the actions would reduce prison overcrowding, save money and lessen racial discrimination in marijuana arrests.
Nationally, in 2010, 46 percent of all drug arrests were for marijuana offenses and 88 percent of the marijuana arrests were for possession, according to Hanger.
Read Hanger’s full position paper on the reforms here.
– John Guerriero