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More Hesitation on Marijuana Legalization in Pennsylvania

Though #Senate hearings on #adult-use #recreational #marijuana have had a sense of “when, not if” the drug would be legal, at least one #senator is calling for more skepticism.

While the three previous hearings have focused on the potential for boosting state #tax #revenues and reducing the harm of #marijuana activity already happening, Sen. Judy #Ward, R-Blair, warned of public health and safety concerns.

“The hearings have seemed one-sided, and the topics covered have been used to advance recreational marijuana legislation rather than provide a thorough vetting of all aspects of this controversial issue,” Ward wrote in an op-ed posted to her website. She cited marijuana’s addictive qualities, increased crime connected to marijuana sales, and spikes in marijuana-related emergency visits for teenagers in her opposition.

During the third hearing of the Senate #Law & Justice Committee on adult-use marijuana, she noted employees who #tested #positive for marijuana had 55% more industrial accidents and 85% more injuries, citing a study from the #National Institute on Drug Abuse.

“Employers should be able to institute reasonable workplace safety policies to protect their people and their employees, their customers, and their public. And employees should be able to know that their workplace is safe,” Ward said.

Policy experts testifying pointed out that #Pennsylvania can learn from other legalization efforts.

“What we have the benefit from is learning the experiences of other states and also the employers that are in those states,” said Michael Bronstein, cofounder of the #American #Trade Association of #Cannabis and #Hemp. “These issues have been addressed responsibly in other markets.”

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