Pennsylvania Auditor General Supports Legalizing Marijuana

HARRISBURG -- Pennsylvania's auditor general said Monday he is in strong support of legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania, saying it is a taxable assest the state needs.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale (D) says making marijuana legal and taxing it would create a $20 billion industry and create more than 280,000 jobs in the next decade.

"Cities in Pennsylvania and some towns have started their own decriminalization process," DePasquale pointed out.

DePasquale cited states like Colorado that have seen benefits of legalizing and taxing marijuana.

"The regulation and taxation of marijuana train has rumbled out of the station across the United States," DePasquale said. "The question is whether Pennsylvania is going to miss its stop as the train moves its way across the country and allow other states to pick up the business opportunities."

DePasquale is the highest state official so far to publicly endorse legalizing marijuana.

Many people Newswatch 16 spoke with say with Pennsylvania's massive budget facing shortfalls again, this is something we need.

"I'm a hundred percent behind him," said Dan Skaggs of Lords Valley. "Looking at the revenue that alone Colorado has generated, we could get Pennsylvania out of bankruptcy."

“I read that Colorado's, their economy has improved like exponentially since they legalized marijuana,” said Ivy Nataloni from Dunmore.

But State Representative Sid Kavulich, a fellow Democrat, says the state shouldn't be so hasty to make that leap.

"It's still too early, Colorado certainly," said Kavulich, who represents the 114th District. "Let's wait a few years, see what kind of revenue comes in, what develops over a few years with the general legalization."

The auditor general says legalizing marijuana would also save the state the costs of prosecuting and incarcerating those caught with marijuana.

59 comments

  • William McEwen

    Legalizing for the money is a typical Democrat plan in the law run the things that will be bad or wrong from legalized marijuana will cost more than was made for the state and the harm to the people it will effect especially from vehicle accidents. There is enough problems with Alcohol in the state and world without making another mind altering drug legal.

    • George Scurfie

      Do you honestly think people aren’t driving RIGHT NOW under the influence? And how much is it costing the taxpayers of PA for enforcing the law and jailing users? And WHO do YOU think if profiting right now from Marijauana?

  • Get the Ball Rolling already

    How many Domestic Violence Cases are there after Smoking a Joint?? 911 Calls?? Hospitalizations for having your Husband or Boyfriend Beat you up??
    Oh That’s Right…ZERO!!
    Alcohol Creates More Havoc than your THC!!
    Get over your fear..Pass the Darn Law Already..you’re losing money cause residents are traveling out of state.
    I think they would all let the fear go after lighting up..Stress Free, Carefree, HAPPY LIFE!!

  • just wondering

    Question for magicmike. I know your anti pot due to health concerns. But I have to ask, shouldn’t you be more concerned about that coal dust your breathing in up there in northern Schuylkill county?

  • George Scurfie

    The question I keep asking myself is: Was Prohibition a success? I think we should decriminalize all drugs and treat those with addictions and not throw them in jail. I haven’t seen any cultural improvement from our “War on Drugs”. Can we be honest and accept it hasn’t worked?

    • Consider The Following...

      Legalize all drugs and let anyone who OD’s or ruins their lives die. No burden on society. Less worthless people. Solves the issues with drugs being illegal. Only the smart and strong survive.

      • Get the Ball Rolling already

        Im all for considering an Overdose as Suicide..no insurance payouts for those with policies.. You put it in your body, you basically said I want to kill myself.

  • Sandy M

    Big $$$ Mommas got a brand new bag. I just hope that it dosen’t put a big strain on that free health care so many get the children can’t live on those special brownies!!!

  • Eric Barton

    Last year the DEA determined marijuana would continue to be a schedule 1 drug and later made another rule maintaining derivatives as class 1. This was all done under Obama for those blaming Pubs for its legal status. Until the federal rules change marijuana will continue being illegal and you will not be employable.

  • Devon

    While the potential harms of using cannabis are widely publicized (and often exaggerated), little is mentioned of the harms of its prohibition. When making cannabis policy decisions, it would be irresponsible to ignore these harms…and costs.

    For this prohibition to be justified it needs to be established that:

    1) Cannabis is particularly harmful (at least more than alcohol)
    2) The prohibition will significantly reduce problematic usage

    And:

    3) The direct and indirect costs of this prohibition to an American society need to be less than any gains from 1 and 2 (don’t underestimate the value we place on freedom and liberty)

    None of these 3 requirements have ever been established. After decades of research, the relative safety and medical efficacy of cannabis have been established well enough to conclude that it is significantly less harmful and more useful than alcohol. The vast majority of preventable harms related to cannabis are caused by the very laws that are supposed to “protect us” from it. Some of these harms are:

    •Increased deaths of countless people involved on all sides of the “war”, including those of law enforcement and bystanders
    •The spending of 100’s of billions of our dollars seeking out, arresting, prosecuting, and incarcerating otherwise law-abiding citizens
    •The loss of billions in tax revenue from cultivation, distribution, and sales, which can be used for all substance abuse treatment
    •The redirection of valuable police time and resources from solving and preventing true crime
    •The filling of our jails with non-violent offenders, exposing them to true criminals and forcing the early release of dangerous criminals
    •All sales, over 10 million pounds per year, are unregulated and placed in the hands of people who never check ID, some of them are hardened criminals
    •The empowerment and expansion of underground markets as a very popular substance is placed within them
    •Increased violent crime as dealers and buyers have no legal recourse to resolve disputes
    •Increased exposure to hard drugs as many cannabis consumers buy from suppliers who have access to them, even push them
    •Increased likelihood of contamination with anything from harmful pesticides and molds to other drugs
    •The prevention of some adults from choosing a recreational substance less harmful than alcohol
    •The notion that all illegal drugs are particularly dangerous is weakened
    •Increased corruption within the legal system
    •The invasion of our civil liberties, which in America we hold in especially high regard
    •The prevention of people from receiving effective medicine
    •The prevention of people from receiving decent employment, scholarship money, and student aid due to their “criminal” record, which affects not just them but their family as well
    •Families are torn apart as members are imprisoned or children taken away in the name of “protecting them”
    •Increased support of tremendous multinational criminal networks
    •Increased public mistrust, disrespect, and disdain for our legal system, police, and government, which is devastating to our country

    Considering these great costs, it is unreasonable to continue this policy against a substance objectively less harmful than alcohol. Why are we forcing police to deal with something that is, if anything, a minor public health issue? Why are we criminalizing people for something that has been safely enjoyed by millions of Americans for decades, something that a majority of Americans believe should be legalized recreationally?

    Cannabis prohibition is a travesty of justice based on irrational fears and paranoia from an archaic era that needs to end now. Cannabis must be legalized and regulated similar to alcohol. Prohibition policies do not work for popular things that are safely enjoyed by many…especially not in a country that values liberty, justice, and freedom.

    A vote to end cannabis prohibition is a vote to condemn a costly prohibition that causes more harm than it prevents.

    • rev. greenbuds

      Devon- I think I agree with everything you wrote but that’s too much for me to read while being stoned. Shorten it up a bit and I’ll read the whole thing. Thankyou.

    • Lynne Fazio

      David – where in the world did you get this information – please post your FACTS: For this prohibition to be justified it needs to be established that:

      1) Cannabis is particularly harmful (at least more than alcohol) (lie – not one person has ever been overdosed on pot – or gotten addicted – so that’s lie no. 1 – I can’t possibly read the rest of your LIES please get some information
      2) The prohibition will significantly reduce problematic usage

      • rev. greenbuds

        Lynne- First you called Devin, David. Then you went off on him for something you agree with. Slow down, relax, take a big fat hit and think happy thoughts. Are you jonezing?

  • Zildjbian

    Who ever said legalizing prostitution as well is a genius.That would be sweet ,puff up and then pay to even enjoy myself more with out all the needs,and cuddling afterwards.Im All for it!

  • Dana Smith

    What a joke, They are already into how to loot the Med angle on it. It’s all how can corrupt lawmakers profit , what happens to the communities , Bunch of worthless potheads on welfare ; It’s still illegal federally . Maybe these fools need to LOOK at the influx of worthless 20 yr olds Colorado got and the illegals squatting on state land growing it.. I hope their Doctor or pilot is stoned and forgets something. They would legalize Sandusky”s activities if they could make money on it.

      • SpeakingTheTruth

        You make no sense. She doesn’t need an education to know its important to individuals like yourself who don’t have a job and live off the taxpayers. Heck, what else would you do all day? Possibly look for a job!

  • magicmikexxsm

    Hey maybe the Democrats in Pa will promise us Property tax relief again, you know like Ed 14 cent a pack Rendell did with the Casino money, which we never got…..lol

  • magicmikexxsm

    Pennsylvania Auditor General Supports Legalizing Marijuana………………………………………………………………
    There you have it folks. We don’t even have the medical marijuana set up and running, and the DEMOCRATS in this state want to now legalize it to collect the tax dollars off it……
    This idiot DEMOCRAT sites Colorado as an example, what he didn’t tell you is now that the people of Colorado have been using Marijuana when ever they want, the state can now see the long term effects of people using it like cigarettes, and smoking it heavily…it’s not a good thing to smoke all the time, I don’t care what the pot heads tell you….

    • Carl Brutananadilewski

      How about you CITE some of the problems Colorado is having. And by your logic why don’t we make cigarettes illegal?

      • magicmikexxsm

        Don’t be a lazy moron, I will give you this , Brain and mental health effects:
        Heavy use of marijuana can damage your memory. This damage can last a week or more after the last time you used.
        Marijuana, especially in high doses, can cause temporary psychosis (not knowing what is real, hallucinations and paranoia) while you are high……………………………

        Now there are many other problems associated with long term use, google it, and do some research don’t be lazy…..

        As far as cigarettes they don’t get you high, marijuana is worse…

      • Carl Brutananadilewski

        No, I want you to provide sources. If you’re going to come on here and act like you know anything, you better back it up.

        And because weed gets you high is why it’s worse?
        Then ban alcohol too.

  • Glorious

    Will there ever be enough revenue to support the wasteful political system we have? Look at reducing the size of the state gov and controlling costs before you jump into another racket.

  • Vafreyja

    Compare the amount of expected revenue and the amount made by PA’s private prison system and you’ll see the answer to this question. Until you get rid of the economic terrorists in the PA state republican party you will always live under their artificial ceiling.

  • FORit

    I support it. I don’t understand why our government allows alcohol, gambling and tobacco but weed is illegal. It is still brought in and sold but the government is not making money off of it. It can help a lot of people with pain, anxiety and other medical problems. Nobody can overdose or die from using too much either.

  • All for it !!!!!!!

    This weed was put here by the creator, not by man. Therefore the creator created it for some reason. Who is man to question the creator. The cost of prosecution and incarceration is incredible. Just to house an inmate of this nature is approx. $38,000.00 per year. The cost of prosecution is approx. $1,000,000.00 start to finish. Gov. Wolf it’s way past time for you to climb on this band wagon and get it done.

      • ALL FOR IT !!!!!!!

        I am not one to go on here and leave uneducated posts, I would ask you to look cyanide up in the dictionary. I am a 62 year old retired federal correctional worker for 25 years, US Navy veteran and a believer that has been around this subject for many years on both sides of the isle.

  • CeeMe

    Pa has enough weirdoes. We don’t need more or more impaired idiots on our roadways and don’t even give me that “it’s safer than alcohol,” bull.

  • nasca7

    Well, the state legalized gambling with the casino’s a few years ago. Now they’re about to legalize pot. In a few years it will be the same “economic” argument used to legalize prostitution. Strange how that money never seems to benefit the taxpayers.

  • Just a girl

    I think that now that he has spoken, legalizing it will happen not to far after the medical goes live. Interesting he didn’t mention getting rid of the criminal element that keeping it illegal supports.

  • Earl Owasho Osologi Whiteley

    I have been saying this for years especially with the governor’s office. It would make room for the real criminals without having to spend taxpayers money on newer, bigger prisons. It would create so many new jobs, and not seasonal , but all year round from the fields to the greenhouses. It would create revenue for the Commonwealth as well as lower school and local taxes, and even help to finally eliminate property taxes. It could also become the new export crop to countries that already have made it legal, but do not enjoy the growing seasons that we have here in the US. And it would finally put our farming community back to work, as well as giving them an income they can live off of and be proud of. YES, YES, YES!!!! It is time!!

    • Walter mychek

      It be the best thing the state of pa ever did..But it never happen in pa tho because of the over rightious republican Nazi legislator s here .big hippcrits they are.But on the flip side of things we all saw how our over rightous republicans handled the child molestation happening at Penn state university they tried to cover it up…so let’s make pot legal in pa thears nothing to lose… it’s in the open..

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