District attorneys’ organization opposes legal recreational pot
The Pennsylvania District Attorneys Association has come out against legal recreational marijuana, though it does support decriminalizing possession of small amounts of the drug.
Association leaders shared their views with lawmakers at a meeting of the state Senate and House Democratic Policy Committee.
“Recreational marijuana is not safe or harmless,” Berks County District Attorney and past PDAA president John Adams said.
He pointed to the American Medical Association’s policy that marijuana is a dangerous drug.
Studies have found a negative correlation between marijuana and mental health issues, Adams said.
In states where the drug is legal, there have been more cases of people driving under the influence, and the black market has continued to thrive, he said.
The PDAA supports the state’s existing medical marijuana program and efforts to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
“Such legislation would help to clear cases from the criminal docket and allow law enforcement officials to focus on other matters, while still recognizing the negative consequences of marijuana use,” Adams said.
Some state officials have been strong proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana, pointing to evidence of the drug’s medical benefits and the potential tax revenue that could be generated from its sale.
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is in the midst of a “marijuana listening tour,” visiting every county in the state to solicit residents’ opinions about legalizing recreational marijuana.
Auditor General Eugene DePasquale has called for legalizing marijuana, saying it would generate more than $500 million in annual tax revenue.
Some state legislators, including Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, have repeatedly backed bills legalizing recreational marijuana, though none of these bills have made it to a vote.
Jacob Tierney is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jacob at 724-836-6646, [email protected] or via Twitter .