Republican State Senators support legal marijuana in Pa. Will others follow?

Regional News

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman and many Democrats in the legislature have been calling for the legalization of recreational marijuana for years, and now a couple of Republican Senators have joined the chorus.

Time has changed for Senator Mike Regan (R-York, Cumberland). The former US Marshal chased down drug dealers. He strongly opposed recreational marijuana five years ago. “Five years is a long time,” Sen. Regan said.

The Republican is now waving a green flag saying Pa. should be cashing in, instead of neighboring states or bad guys. “Our dollars will go to fix the road and bridges of New York and New Jersey does that make sense? And who wins are the guys who cut people’s heads off and hang people off bridges, the cartels, and organized crime gangs. It’s a billion-dollar industry. I say let’s take the billion dollars and put it to work in Pennsylvania,” Sen. Regan said.

“Let me ask you this, why does this world need another legal intoxicant,” Dr. Deni Carise of Recovery Centers of America said. Dr. Carise founded Recovery Centers of America. She says there’s no such thing as a harmless drug. “People still become addicted to it. People still drive under the influence and have accidents with it and again, one in about ten people will have a problem with it.”

Erie Republican Senator Dan Laughlin is a likely candidate for governor and a proud moderate who thinks stances like legalizing cannabis is a winning formula. “Everyone else is some version of right and I’m not saying anything bad about them, but they’re all some version of the same candidate and I’m the only one who provides a clear choice that’s different,” Sen. Laughlin said.

Republican leaders in the senate remain non-committal and hesitant. Regan promises to change that. “They want consensus so my job is to go around and build consensus among members,” Sen. Regan said.

The Pa. District Attorney’s Association is opposed to legalizing marijuana and said in states where it is legal, DUI cases are way up.

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