You may be surprised to learn that Gov. Josh Shapiro is pushing for the retail sale of marijuana in Pennsylvania communities through his proposed state budget released this week. Gov. Shapiro made no mention of this in his prepared budget remarks, and since taking office, to-date he’s never publicly pointed to his support for non-medical legalization; not even one tweet.
In 2019, Shapiro did reveal his changed position to support the commercial sale of an addictive, Schedule 1 narcotics in your neighborhood after “discussions with fellow law enforcement,” despite public opposition from the PA Chiefs of Police Association and the PA Fraternal Order of Police.
Tucked away in Gov. Shapiro’s budget proposal is a vague plan to grow government and earn “revenue” by legalizing the retail sale of marijuana for non-medical use with a 20% wholesale tax, one of the highest tax rates of states experimenting with full legalization.
Exposing Pennsylvania families to the harms of marijuana commercialization is dangerous and ill-advised. Teens are being harmed and addicted to marijuana use, particularly with vaping concentrates that can be as high as 99% THC. Just this month, Temple University published a study that found states choosing to legalize marijuana for “recreational” use caused an increase in marijuana use by teens and young-adults.
And now Gov. Shapiro wants to add the reliance on tax revenue from marijuana for the state budget – encouraging political gain from more users and more addiction? That’s negligence in some of its worst forms.
A plan like this is praised by the marijuana industry – including Big Tobacco, as well as the black market for such a high tax rate. But its children and families that will suffer the consequences should it pass into law.
As PA Family’s Judge Cheryl Allen has said before, including in testimony before legislative leaders in Harrisburg, no amount of tax revenue from marijuana can justify sacrificing the safety and well-being of our young people!
Please contact your State Senator and State Representative today to tell them to oppose any budget that includes this harmful marijuana proposal. Click here to send an email.