A candidate running in Pennsylvania’s gubernatorial race has generated a buzz due to a plan to legalize marijuana in the state by 2017.
“The last three presidents of the United States would be drug criminals had they been caught smoking marijuana,” Democratic candidate John Hanger said in a news conference today.
Hanger, former secretary of the state’s department of environmental protection, has proposed a three-step plan to reform Pennsylvania’s marijuana laws.
“I am calling for immediately allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, reducing the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana to a summary offense similar to a traffic ticket by 2015 and finally regulating and taxing marijuana use by 2017 if the previous reforms are successful and monitoring the experience in states that have legalized marijuana use,” Hanger said though a release.
Hanger states that legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana could bring $24 billion a year to the state.
“It’s time to stop wasting money and clogging our criminal justice system with non-violent people whose only offense is possession of small amounts of marijuana,” he said.
Legislation to allow medical marijuana in Pennsylvania is currently pending in the state’s House and Senate.