To spur citizen engagement on whether Pennsylvania should legalize marijuana, state Sen. Jim Brewster (D-Allegheny/Westmoreland) is renewing his call for passage of legislation authorizing a statewide vote on the issue.
“My proposal (Senate Bill 527) would put the issue of legalizing marijuana on the ballot,” Brewster said. “A referendum would give statewide voters the chance to express their opinion on marijuana legalization.”
Earlier this year, Brewster sponsored the measure authorizing the vote. If recreational marijuana is eventually legalized, he proposed that revenue generated from legalization should be used for mental health funding and constructing substance abuse treatment facilities.
State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale last year released a report indicating that legalization would produce an estimated $580 million.
“It is critically important that citizens have a chance to let lawmakers know their views on the legalization of marijuana,” Brewster said. “If marijuana is approved and significant funds generated, we must ensure that the dollars are put to good use.”
Brewster’s legislation was referred to the Senate State Government Committee for consideration in May.