Though he only has a few cosponsors for his bill, Montgomery County Senator Daylin Leach remains unruffled, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer in a recent article on the crafter of the legislation that would decriminalize marijuana for recreational, not medicinal, use. He knows that he has a snowball’s chance in Hades to get the bill into law since Governor Corbett has already stated that he would veto the legislation if it ever made it to his desk.
Citing the expense to the state (actually, taxpayers), according to the article, which is roughly $350 million that he says “Pennsylvania agencies spend each year to arrest and adjudicate 25,000 people for marijuana offenses.”
The way the law reads now, Pennsylvania permits 30 days in jail and a $500 fine for possession of up to about an ounce. Most first-time offenders get probation, but could land in jail “if possession becomes a probation violation for another offense, or if they don’t pay fines and court costs.”
Leach is one of a growing number of legislators who grew up with pot, has smoked it himself during his youth and feels that laws that end up unfairly penalizing certain populations need to change.
But others disagree, including the governor who believes that marijuana is a gateway drug.
Either way, the debate has begun.