The Hill

Marijuana Legalization Update: Pennsylvania Preps New Bill As Florida Legalizes Cannabis

Pennsylvania Sens. Daylin Leach and Sharif Street plan to propose a new bill that would legalize recreational marijuana use across the state. The move comes the same week Florida officially approved the legal use of medical pot. 

“We’ve had a cruel, irrational and expensive policy on cannabis for more than 80 years,” Leach said in a statement. “Prohibition has destroyed countless lives and has cost our taxpayers millions of dollars. It’s time we walk into the bright sunshine of enlightenment and stop arresting our kids and funding violent drug cartels.”

The two democrats intend to legalize marijuana use for anyone 21 and older and provide a framework for social equity, justice and small business provisions on marijuana cultivation, PhillyVoice reported Tuesday.

The bill would also decriminalized nearly all existing personal possession offenses recorded in Pennsylvania, which would set free the citizens currently serving marijuana-related sentences and end ongoing parole programs. 

However, Leach and Street’s bill would limit use of marijuana in public and require designated areas for cannabis consumption, such as lounges near business premises. 

Aside from recreational use, the legislation would also eliminate Pennsylvania's seed-to-sale tracking system and allow households to grow up to six marijuana plants for personal use. University marijuana programs would also get a green light under the proposed legislation. 

Leach and Street's bill comes just weeks after State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, reintroduced a separate legislation to legalize and decriminalize marijuana for adults. 

Meanwhile, Florida officially legalized smoking medical marijuana, CBS News first reported. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill on Monday allowing the use of smokable pot across the state and lifting a ban on the drug.

"Over 70 percent of Florida voters approved medical marijuana in 2016," DeSantis said in a tweet. "I thank my colleagues in the Legislature for working with me to ensure the will of the voters is upheld."

The new law is effective immediately. However, the Florida health department has yet to issue new guidelines for doctors who would prescribe smokable medical marijuana to their patients. 

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