Pennsylvania NAACP Says Legalize Marijuana

Last week, the Pennsylvania NAACP endorsed a pending marijuana legalization bill. And on the 4th of July, the civil rights group stepped up that support, holding a press conference to gain traction for the legislation.

The bill, Senate Bill 528, is sponsored by Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery County), and is currently bottled up in the Senate Law and Justice Committee. It would legalize, tax, and regulate the possession of small amounts of pot, as well as its commerce.

"I am honored that the NAACP has spoken out in favor of my legislation to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in Pennsylvania," Leach said at the press conference. "As noted in recent reports, the war on drugs is racially-biased, inefficient and ineffective; and this modern day prohibition of a product less harmful than alcohol and tobacco needs to end. We can better use the resources we’re spending to fight this unnecessary war, and we can better spend our time and energy cracking down on substances that are actually harmful."

The state NAACP came on board in the wake of the release of a report recently released by the ACLU that showed that black Americans are more than three times more likely to be arrested on marijuana charges than white Americans. In the Keystone State, the report found, blacks are 5.2 times more likely to be busted for pot than whites.

"As a representative of the NAACP and a retired Deputy Chief of Police with more than 31 years of service with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Police Department, it is time Pennsylvania respond to this injustice in a rational and sensible way," said Harvey Crudup, president of the NAACP's Cheltenham Area Branch. "Millions of dollars per year in additional revenues can be generated to build more schools instead of prisons. These tax dollars can also subsidize drug treatment, job training and diversion programs to reduce racial disparities in Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system as well as transportation projects throughout the Commonwealth."

In addition to Leach and Crudup, other speakers at the press conference included Neill Franklin, executive director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, and David Scott, chair of the legal redress committee for the Cheltenham Area Branch.

Philadelphia, PA
United States
Permission to Reprint: This article is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license.
Looking for the easiest way to join the anti-drug war movement? You've found it!

Marijuana petition

To all who favor freedom,

Our nation watches and the resolve builds to end Marijuana Prohibition in the United States of America.

We have to keep the pressure on our government to decriminalize marijuana.

Please sign the new Whitehouse petition,

http://wh.gov/lOmFK

Decriminalize marijuana, and pardon all marijuana convictions. Over 100,000,000 U.S. Citizens have used marijuana.

With over 500,000 marijuana arrests costing over $13 billion annually, and with more than half of U.S. Citizens favoring legalization the time is here to end marijuana prohibition.

Marijuana prohibition is very costly to society, wasting billions of dollars and billions of hours in law enforcement, justice system and penal system time, it also destroys families and personal lives and futures.

The effects of marijuana both physically and socially are less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, and adults should be entitled to make the decision whether or not to consume marijuana.

It's time to finally put an end to the criminalization of marijuana, This would not only allow our government to save billions of dollars, but could be a source of income and bring in billions of dollars in revenue.

Please help to spread the word on any social media you can, we need this petition to go VIRAL!

Thank you,

RonM

Selling Out

RonM, I'm with you until the last.  I'm not for "billions of dollars in revenue" for any government.  Government proves irresponsible with revenue and would only find another cause to justify existence of a costly bureaucracy.  

Regulation may cost something on the federal level.  There should be proportional compensation.  Otherwise, U.S. out of the drug war.  Let the states decide how to manage re-legalized marijuana or any other drug.

 

Old_Cowboy's picture

Legalize or Liberate

I would also favor liberating marijuana rather than “legalizing” it. However, it if is legalized I think it will be liberated. It is not fear of the law that stops home distillers and allows the gov. to tax alcohol at such a high rate, it is the difficulty of distilling. In fact, if you search the web, you will find there is quite a substantial home distilling business and I have never heard of a bust. If marijuana is legalized, home growing will be quite easy. There will be de facto liberation.

 

I agree the fed. gov. should leave marijuana to the states.

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