Philadelphia, March 11, 2021 – Today, Councilmember Derek Green (At-Large) introduced legislation to amend the City’s Home Rule Charter, via a ballot question to be decided by voters this November, calling on the Pennsylvania General Assembly and Gov. Tom Wolf to decriminalize, regulate, and tax the sales of cannabis for non-medical purposes for adults 21 years and up.
With the recent signing of recreational cannabis legislation in New Jersey and congressional efforts pushing for cannabis reform as part of their legislative agendas this year, 15 states – as well as Washington, D.C. – now allow non-medical marijuana use for adults 21 years and older. There are 36 states, including Pennsylvania, that permit the use of medical marijuana.
As effective federal vaccination coordination and economic stimulus combine to relieve the COVID-19 pandemic, the time for state officials to revisit and act is now – particularly to allow countless Black and Brown people who have been disproportionately incarcerated for minor marijuana-related offenses to legally take part in an industry projected to be worth $30 billion by 2025.
“This measure is long overdue in Pennsylvania, and quite frankly, all across the country as times evolve and we, as a society, shift further and further away from the perspective of cannabis as taboo and unacceptable,” said Councilmember Green. “Data continues to prove both the medical and health benefits as well as the economic potential of cannabis with responsible utilization and regulation. It’s time to stop using cannabis law as a weapon against low-income communities and people of color and begin looking at ways to leverage this industry as a catalyst for permanent, equitable, and prosperous change.”
Read the legislation: