Some Pa. Republicans Want To Legalize Marijuana

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  Some Pa. Republicans Want To Legalize Marijuana

Posted by CN Staff on May 21, 2020 at 20:41:36 PT
By Sam Wood 
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer 

Pennsylvania -- There’s a gaping budget hole caused by an economy in tatters. There’s growing voter support and some assurance that the issue is no longer political poison. And there are tax windfalls, potentially huge revenues to be gleaned, if a bill can win bipartisan support in Harrisburg.For those reasons, some Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania are coming around — if slowly — to the idea of legalizing marijuana for adult recreational use.
The reasons are not hard to discern.Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, the state has lost almost $4 billion in tax revenue. That gap is only growing bigger. The Independent Fiscal Office last month warned taxpayers to be prepared for a “significant reduction” in essential services.Meanwhile, states with legalized recreational marijuana are reaping major tax revenues.Illinois, with a population similar in size to Pennsylvania’s, has raked in more than $10 million a month in taxes and fees since it legalized weed for adult use in January. Last year, Nevada collected $99 million; Oregon, $102 million; Colorado, $302 million; Washington state, $390 million; and California, $635 million.And with New York, New Jersey, and Maryland also considering legalizing marijuana for recreational use, the Keystone State risks losing cannabis sales to its neighbors.For a state where tax receipts total more than $35 billion, the additional tax collections from marijuana alone would not solve the budget problem, but they could help the state’s fund-starved schools, or repair crumbling roads and bridges. For courts and prisons, legalizing would wipe out the cost of prosecuting marijuana-related offenses.Until recently, Republican lawmakers in Pennsylvania have uniformly avoided talking about legalization. The state’s legal medical marijuana program, in operation for more than two years, has been touted as an unqualified success by many of the same GOP legislators. But until this month, they have been unified in their opposition to recreational sales.Faced with deficits larger than those seen during the Great Recession of 2008, some of the GOP’s more pragmatic legislators are giving it new consideration.State Sen. Dan Laughlin (R., Erie): “Given the pandemic and the fiscal problems that the state is facing, people who may not have formerly considered recreational marijuana as a revenue generator may be brought to the table."“Given the pandemic and the fiscal problems that the state is facing, people who may not have formerly considered recreational marijuana as a revenue generator may be brought to the table,” said State Sen. Dan Laughlin (R., Erie), who may be the first of the Republican caucus to talk openly about it.“I fully believe that recreational marijuana is going to be one of the pieces of revenue that is certainly discussed in the budget cycle. It absolutely will be,” said Laughlin, who is up for reelection in November. “I’m not a big fan of marijuana, but I also know there’s not a kid or adult in America that couldn’t find a bag of weed if they wanted it.”Until this month, Democrats monopolized the issue, led by Gov. Tom Wolf, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, State Sens. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) and Sharif Street (D., Phila.), and State Rep. Jordan Harris (D., Phila.). Without Republican support, their efforts have gone nowhere.State legislators are unlikely to raise income and sales taxes, said State Sen. Tom Killion (R., Chester), especially with so many Pennsylvanians struggling economically — more than 1.8 million Pennsylvanians have filed for unemployment benefits in the past nine weeks.And there are few things the state can do to raise new revenue.“A hole of $4 billion may be a very conservative number,” said Killion, who is on the ballot this year. “We won’t know what the real damage will be until after July 15.”Lawmakers will have to weigh program cuts. Schools could be among the hardest hit.“It’s a whole new world here. So everything is on the table,” Killion said.“Historically, there’s been a few people pushing for recreational marijuana use, but never a groundswell in the [Republican-controlled] House and Senate,” Killion continued. “I can tell you as a member of the Appropriations Committee, it’s nothing we’ve talked about yet. But this time around, you’re going to hear everything discussed.”Public opinion appears to support legalization.More than 60% of likely voters are in favor of legalizing adult-use cannabis, according to a study released this month by Republican pollster Harper Polling. Surprisingly, nearly 54% of voters who consider themselves “very conservative” or “somewhat conservative” support full legalization.“Adult-use cannabis has made more rapid growth in becoming accepted by the mainstream than people had previously thought possible,” said Brock McCleary, president of Harper Polling. “And it could generate a substantial amount of money that doesn’t cause pain or angst among voters.”More importantly to GOP legislators facing reelection, the issue has ceased to be a certain loser.“It’s important that Republicans not [be] offended in a way that would have them vote against members of their own party,” McCleary said. “That’s partly due to a coalition of voters with a libertarian strain of thought that come at this from a different point of view.”Only 9% of Pennsylvania Republicans would vote a candidate out of office if they supported a bill that would allow for taxed and regulated cannabis, according to Harper Polling.“It won’t be held against them. It’s not an issue like guns or abortion,” said Charlie Gerow, a conservative Republican strategist who is the CEO of Quantum Communications in Harrisburg. “A significant part of the population won’t be excited about it, but definitely could live with it, especially considering what we’ll be facing with this budget.”It could be only a matter of time before more Republicans decide to make legalization a Republican issue, Gerow said, as the potential tax revenues become increasingly more attractive.“It’s inevitable, so why not get ahead of the curve and do it now,” Gerow said. “The tax dollars will have more leverage if legislators move to legalize it sooner. What’s keeping them back?”Source: Philadelphia Inquirer, The (PA)Author: Sam WoodPublished: May 20, 2020Copyright: 2020 Philadelphia Newspapers Inc.URL: Inquirer.Letters phillynews.comCannabisNews -- Cannabis Archives 

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Comment #45 posted by FoM on June 26, 2020 at 14:22:20 PT
I know they have been trying things to stop marijuana reform so I do hope we will have a new administration and keep the house and win the senate and it will get done.
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Comment #44 posted by Hope on June 26, 2020 at 08:00:54 PT
Oh no....
Pentagon Quietly Moves to Make CBD Use a Criminal Offense for Troops
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Comment #43 posted by FoM on June 24, 2020 at 11:21:59 PT
My 2 Cents
These are the worst of times. I don't know if our country will fall apart totally if Trump wins. I really fear for our future. I know most Democrats have said yes to legal marijuana and if they win the presidency and the Senate we could finally finish up this long bumpy road we have been on for way too long.
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Comment #42 posted by The GCW on June 23, 2020 at 20:17:14 PT
Cannabis movement not Biden or t dependent.
Re: "GOP Memo Rips Into Joe Biden’s Drug War Record"REALLY?!. (disclose I have not read it)Past examples prove progress of cannabis law is not dependent on who is president. (We're not waiting and We are doing it!!!)Today, We are called on to get rid of scum.ANYONE who believes Joe's past drug war stance is anywhere in the ball park. (comparable) of (even) ONE SINGLE ISSUE t man has displayed, not only missed the boat but in fact has not even noticed there was a boat.Compared to the present anti-christ, Joe is a saint.That's how bad t is.The health of Earth, in every way, may be dependent on ridding of this filth.
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Comment #41 posted by Hope on June 23, 2020 at 10:58:49 PT
What would Solomon say?
GOP Memo Rips Into Joe Biden’s Drug War Record
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Comment #40 posted by Hope on June 23, 2020 at 10:17:41 PT
Of course, third party or write in is useless.
Looks like Green Party's Howie Hawkins is now the marijuana candidate in 2020 if there was a huge write in or third party showing... the electoral college would take care of getting rid of it in a hurry.
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Comment #39 posted by afterburner on June 20, 2020 at 09:51:13 PT
Social Justice vs. Rich White Dudes
Watch "The Legal Marijuana Industry Is Rigged | Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj | Netflix" on YouTube
Published on May 25, 2020
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Comment #38 posted by FoM on June 20, 2020 at 06:26:26 PT
Jack Herer
I could never forget him! Jack was a force to be reckoned with and dearly loved by so many of us.
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Comment #37 posted by afterburner on June 19, 2020 at 11:11:31 PT
The Emperor Has No Clothes: Remembering Jack Herer
Jack Herer: A Lifelong Cannabis Advocate.
by goldleaf. 3 min read.
a month ago.
By Benzinga on May 8, 2020.
By Goldleaf's Alfonso Colasuonno, provided exclusively to Benzinga Cannabis.
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Comment #36 posted by FoM on June 05, 2020 at 08:20:33 PT

We watch MSNBC all day and follow the protests etc. Back when we had the anti war protests I watched the news but it was only on a half an hour in the evening and it wasn't enough. The great difference now is everyone has a phone that can take pictures and videos too. The cop that pushed the 75 year old man down and left him with blood coming out of his ear have been suspended without pay. I think the man will be OK I hope.
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Comment #35 posted by Hope on June 05, 2020 at 07:12:15 PT

Lately, I've been making a point
of forcing myself to watch them when they are speaking so that I am sure my opinion is completely my own. Aaargh. (Puking emoji here)But I value my vote and I am so concerned about how I am going to spend it.I see why so many people don't like our President and I, too, have trouble understanding the otherwise seemingly normal people that almost seem to worship him. Kind of scary, I think.
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Comment #34 posted by FoM on June 04, 2020 at 20:12:16 PT

Power To The People
God Bless them all!Power To The People:
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Comment #33 posted by FoM on June 04, 2020 at 20:02:23 PT

I Am Tired
I am tired of Trump news all the time. He is so self centered I don't know why some feel he is like a god to them. I miss no drama Obama. At least Biden is kind and will put good people by his side if elected. I am proud of the protesters (not the bad apples) but the peace loving protesters.           
 POWERFUL: A crowd of protesters for George Floyd in D.C. sings "Lean on Me":
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Comment #32 posted by Hope on June 04, 2020 at 17:25:23 PT

Storm Crow
"Interesting times". Indeed.
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Comment #31 posted by The GCW on June 04, 2020 at 16:29:49 PT

Another aspect:
Observe how this UN-popular person has NEGATIVELY effected America in 3 years.If re-elected, IMAGINE WHAT THE IMPLICATIONS ARE FOR 5 MORE (!) YEARS OF THAT.
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Comment #30 posted by Storm Crow on June 04, 2020 at 14:58:36 PT

The way I see it....
we are going to get screwed with either one in office, but trump is WAY worse for the country. Joe is just an aging "business as usual"-type politician, and none of them are "choirboys". But there is a chance he can rise to the occasion and start the healing we need. Because of the personal losses in his life, he can empathize with those in pain and may even listen. trump can't and won't. That has been made quite clear by his recent actions- claiming to support peaceful protesters in a press op, yet ordering that peaceful protesters be attacked minutes later, just to create a (bungled) photo op! Also, considering their age and the natural decline in physical and mental health, it is quite possible neither one will survive the next 4 years. Their choices for VPs will be more important than usual. We live in some rather "interesting times", my friends!  
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Comment #29 posted by Hope on June 04, 2020 at 12:09:36 PT

Looks like I'm going to have to figure out a way
to somehow navigate in a void. 
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Comment #28 posted by FoM on June 03, 2020 at 16:26:16 PT

The GCW 
I so agree. Our country can't take anymore of Trump. Biden will listen like you said.
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Comment #27 posted by The GCW on June 03, 2020 at 16:12:25 PT

Election / cannabis / politicians record etc.
Biden has room to learn and be a better person. Learn from mistakes. He's keen. I'm not blind to His past...Trump? On another level of horrifying scale, not ever seen in the United States of America. He needs to be removed in no uncertain terms and if We can move the elections up sooner it will still not be soon enough. He HAS TO GO!Awful, awful human being. To refrain from voting for Biden: if that gives Us Trump, I will be disappointed in voters who don't do everything possible to remove the freak.We absolutely have to vote Biden!That's not a question.That's a demand.
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Comment #26 posted by FoM on June 03, 2020 at 15:03:24 PT

Not as good as Bernie but Trump has hurt this country so much Biden will seem so much better.
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Comment #25 posted by Hope on June 03, 2020 at 13:13:18 PT

Excerpt. So danged true.
“Joe Biden’s record on drug policy is quite abysmal given his role in the 1994 Crime Bill and as one of the lead advocates for increased mandatory minimum sentences and other policies that inflamed our crisis of mass incarceration in this country,” Erik Altieri, executive director of NORML, told Marijuana Moment. “Unfortunately, despite not having a long legislative record like Biden for direct comparison, Donald Trump’s history as it relates to racial justice and drug policy is also quite horrendous.”
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Comment #24 posted by Hope on June 03, 2020 at 13:06:30 PT

What it feels like choosing one of these ...
It feels like stepping off into a void of some kind.
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Comment #23 posted by Hope on June 03, 2020 at 13:03:31 PT

Tussleing of two evils...
Trump Reelection Campaign Attacks Biden As ‘Architect’ Of The War On Drugs
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Comment #22 posted by FoM on June 02, 2020 at 04:56:18 PT

My Thoughts
This is heartbreaking to watch. Trump cares for no one but himself. What a pathetic way to live. I believe to be a good leader you must be a good follower first. Trump follows no one. He wants to get re-elected not for wanting to lead us in a good direction but strictly for himself. He didn't even listen to George Floyd's brothers words when he called him he just kept talking. He said Biden listened. You can't lead, guide or learn if you don't listen. I hope our country can heal from this.
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Comment #21 posted by Storm Crow on June 02, 2020 at 01:35:26 PT

I agree! To clear the path for trump, they used tear gas! Reporters have been being beaten and hit with pepper bullets, rubber bullets and riot shields, even though they were not in the way of the police! It feels like I'm in a "rerun" of the 1960s! trump is a cancer in the body of America and needs to excised ASAP. November can't come soon enough!Fortunately, in my little corner of the world, things have been peaceful. The police chiefs in the near-by southern Oregon cities and towns issued statements condemning Chauvin's actions and stood with the protesters. There were even a few uniformed officers marching with the crowds, and the only "police action" was blocking off the streets to allow the protesters a safe, clear path to march in! Late in the evening, there were a few incidents leading to arrests reported, but it seems most of the vandals are NOT local people!   And I really appreciate the "Thank you", hon. I hope everyone is staying safe and doing well!  
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Comment #20 posted by Hope on June 01, 2020 at 21:04:24 PT

My vote.
Today was too much. A last straw event. The violent dispersal of legally, peacefully protesting citizens of the United States so that a politician could create a political photo op is beyond bearing and adding insult to injury, he held The Good Book in his hand... for show. That's how it all looks to me.Once again, it's a good thing I'm not God... because I would have behaved rashly. I would have made that book burn his hand until he had to drop it. God is more tolerant and forgiving than I am. I'm thankful for that. 
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Comment #19 posted by Hope on June 01, 2020 at 17:45:21 PT

And thank you, Storm Crow!
You have done so much and gathered so much information. Thank you so much!
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Comment #18 posted by Hope on June 01, 2020 at 17:43:28 PT

Love you and I agree! You, the GCW, and Afterburner... you'll have been here from the start at this wonderful soapbox FoM has given us. You have used it well!You've all said many times that you would never give up... and you haven't!Huzza! Huzza!Salute to you!
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Comment #17 posted by gloovins on June 01, 2020 at 07:02:51 PT

It has been probably over 20 years, since 1998 or so I have been on here. Love it! Love cannabis too. I live in LA but wow is it crazy lately. The uprising re: George Floyd is long overdue. I know its controversial, but I believe all drugs should be taxed and regulated as I do not believe I have the right to tell you what you can or cannot put in your body. Also, if you want to do cocaine/meth/heroin/mdma I would rather have you get taxed, pure regulated product than untaxted, unregulated possibly lethal product. You would also end world wide global narco terrorism too. Peace to all. 
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Comment #16 posted by Storm Crow on May 31, 2020 at 03:17:38 PT

Harry Anslinger! Forgot the "n" in his name! 
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Comment #15 posted by Storm Crow on May 31, 2020 at 02:55:41 PT

What I once read....
There are 3 major players in cannabis prohibition. And all three of them were connected by racism and greed.Harry Ansliger was one of the government prohibitionists and a rabid racist. After alcohol prohibition ended, he was out of work. Outlawing cannabis provided a way to keep him employed and have an excuse to suppress and imprison minorities. It was an easy sell to politicians- racism was far more acceptable back then.(Look up his quotes!)DuPont saw hemp as the only viable threat to to his new synthetic fiber, nylon as ropes for ships. The contract with the Navy alone was HUGE! So just plain old corporate greed was on his mind, plus some racism.Hurst was a timber baron who owned a newspaper. Hemp paper is far superior to wood pulp paper, which is why it was used in Bibles. Hemp paper was a threat to his pulp paper industry, and those racist, "Reefer Madness" stories sold papers like hotcakes!So racism and money is what was on their minds!  
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Comment #14 posted by Hope on May 30, 2020 at 10:11:15 PT

I know cannabis is a good plant. A gift from God and many people have known that for eons. It has many benefits to many people and creatures of the earth.A historical fact I'd like to know is who the person was that was responsible for the first prohibitions of the plant. I have to wonder why and what they were thinking.
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Comment #13 posted by Garry Minor on May 30, 2020 at 07:31:04 PT:

Cannabis was used in ancient Israelite ceremony
When the Arad shrine was excavated in 1963-1965, it was transferred to the Israel Museum. In 2007-2010 the archaeology wing of the of the museum was renovated, sparking a renewed interest in the shrine. These changes encouraged the new analysis of the organic material found on the alters with the hope that improved techniques would give greater understanding to the materials used, and perhaps the rituals performed at the time. A very small sample from each shrine was taken and preserved in aluminum foil. To ensure true results, minimize the possibility of cross contamination during the processes, sampling was independently repeated and analyzed both at the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology and at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Givat Ram.The well preserved residues sheds new light on the use of Arad altars and on offerings in Judah during the Iron Age. 
Researchers were surprised to discover the cannabis found on the altars. Arad provides the earliest evidence for the use of cannabis in the Ancient Near East. Hallucinogenic substances are known from various neighboring cultures, but this is the first known evidence of hallucinogenic substance found in the Kingdom of Judah. It seems likely that cannabis was used at Arad as a deliberate psychoactive. researchers need to dig a little deeper,Kaneh Bosm 
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Comment #12 posted by Storm Crow on May 30, 2020 at 01:14:29 PT

Need a little relief from today's news? 
If you enjoy ancient cannabis history, this just came out, and that's 8th Century BC, not AD. Eighth century Jews burned cannabis as part of religious ceremony, researchers discover the study- 
Cannabis and Frankincense at the Judahite Shrine of Arad. 	(Israel) (full – 2020) 

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Comment #11 posted by Hope on May 24, 2020 at 14:05:07 PT

Gloovins. Hey! Good to see you.
I got to thinking how long have you been commenting at Cannabis News. I didn't find the first yet but searching, I ran on to this interesting article and great comments from eighteen years ago.Dionne Warwick's Charges Dropped in Plea Bargain
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Comment #10 posted by FoM on May 24, 2020 at 05:24:02 PT

I hope you are staying safe and having a pleasant weekend. I removed it as soon as I saw it this morning.
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Comment #9 posted by gloovins on May 23, 2020 at 22:58:52 PT

Hemp farmer link all, hope everything and everybody is doing as well as can be.FoM can you take the 1st post down, my email is in it cause i havenet posted in awhile and I forgot it displays it, thanks.
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Comment #7 posted by FoM on May 23, 2020 at 14:19:42 PT

Leonard Cohen - Anthem (w/lyrics) London 2008
I love this song. It gives me hope!
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Comment #6 posted by FoM on May 23, 2020 at 14:14:49 PT

I think Trump has done so many things wrong and insults and fires people if they so much as buck him on anything practically isn't how a Democracy works well. Biden will surround himself with good people and he will listen to them and learn from them. That is important.
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Comment #5 posted by Hope on May 23, 2020 at 10:38:51 PT

It's true...
"Obnoxious and self serving and rude". He is one of those that likes to spurn manners and social graces as being "politically correct". "Creepy Uncle Joe" is difficult for me, too. Vincent. as much as I dislike the choices, I will probably vote. I've always voted. 
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Comment #4 posted by Vincent on May 23, 2020 at 09:04:43 PT:

I know that choosing the lesser-evil is sometimes difficult, but in this SAVE the country, it may be necessary. If you don't vote, then that is a default vote for "president" Trump, inarguably the absolute WORST person to sit in the Oval Office.
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Comment #3 posted by The GCW on May 22, 2020 at 16:05:30 PT

They elude to one important fact...
#1.  Cannabis sales are happening EITHER WAY. PEOPLE ARE NOT GOING WITHOUT CANNABIS. In FACT, most citizens who use cannabis are MORE likely to make sure they have the GOD GIVEN GREEN PLANT (AS DESCRIBED ON THE 1ST PAGE OF the Bible) to get through this STAY AT HOME life.!.
-If the state wishes to not collect taxes, SO BE IT but know sales are not declining due to prohibition!.!Eluded:
“I fully believe that recreational marijuana is going to be one of the pieces of revenue that is certainly discussed in the budget cycle. It absolutely will be,” said Laughlin, who is up for reelection in November. “I’m not a big fan of marijuana, but I also know there’s not a kid or adult in America that couldn’t find a bag of weed if they wanted it.”#2.  The large LARGE majority support ending the devil law. The whole concept of caging humans for using what God indicated He created and said is good (ON THE 1ST PAGE by the way) is only good for satan, the devil, evil or what have You. BAD JUJU folks.-only dim witted numskulls think that's ok anymore!.!But, I'm biased.And other thing. RE-legalized cannabis sales, at least here in COLORADO is considered ESSENTIAL.ESSENTIAL!.!MEANING-----------The Green Collar Worker
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Comment #2 posted by FoM on May 22, 2020 at 13:51:08 PT

I think Biden will learn since most Democrats are on board with legalization. I can't take much more of Trump so I will vote for Biden. He is so obnoxious and self serving and rude. Too much for me.
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Comment #1 posted by Hope on May 22, 2020 at 11:50:10 PT

the misery of choosing the lesser of two evils....
Joe Biden Says ‘I Know A Lot Of Weed Smokers’ To Justify His Opposition To Legalizing Marijuana's got to give. I can't vote for Joe Biden. I believe he's a bad man. In his way, worse than Trump. He had years to do right and he didn't. He did wrong... over and over again. Dang. Dang. Dang.
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