Senators Laughlin, Street Show Neglect for Safety, Terrible Timing in Push for Full Marijuana Legalization

Feb 24, 2021 | 1 comment

New bill to legalize dangerously high potency weed shows a neglect for the health and safety of the people of Pennsylvania.

The following statement may be attributed to Dan Bartkowiak, Director of Communications for Pennsylvania Family Institute.

Today’s announcement of upcoming legislation to fully commercialize the sale of marijuana in Pennsylvania is not only contrary to the guidance of mainstream health organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics, but it shows some legislators are completely out of touch with what Pennsylvania communities need right now.

While Pennsylvania schools are still struggling and hospitals are still combating the COVID pandemic, we have State Senators that are introducing legislation that could put more strain on hospital capacity and harm more children. It’s incredibly out of touch with the current concerns facing Pennsylvania families.

It’s discouraging to see politicians like State Senator Dan Laughlin (R-Erie) push for this harmful legislation. Ironically, Sen. Laughlin points out how it’s not good for people to use marijuana and he is “not a big fan of marijuana” yet is now the prime sponsor to commercialize its sale throughout Pennsylvania. 

There are a host of reasons why full marijuana legalization is disastrous for our communities. It would mean dangerously-high potent marijuana with up to 99% THC consistently packaged in ways that attract youth – including ice creams, candies and flavored vaping products like Strawberry Cough and Mango Dream. It would create more pot shops than Starbucks and McDonalds combined. Despite legalized states placing bans on marketing to children, you still see colorful billboards for marijuana in states like California or Facebook pages touting their kid-friendly marijuana products. It’s the Big Tobacco strategy for targeting teens and addicting lifetime customers, applied to marijuana. And Big Tobacco giants like Altria are right now huge investors in the push for states to commercialize marijuana.

Any state senator who claims to put the best interests of children over the special interests of Big Tobacco and the marijuana lobby would oppose any effort to fully legalize and commercialize the sale of marijuana in Pennsylvania.


Pennsylvania Family Institute strengthens families by encouraging responsible citizenship and engagement in advancing the foundational values of life, marriage and family, and religious freedom. For more on the current science of marijuana, visit or read Dan Bartkowiak’s recent article, Why is Science not Gov. Wolf’s Guide for Marijuana Policy?