Senator Daylin Leach announced his bill and his push to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania last month. Today he told a room of people at the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit why it needs to happen.
Leach has been researching pot legalization about a year and half ago. He says the war on pot has been waging for 75 years.
Senator Leach says to "Keep in mind, prohibition is a policy that we enacted 75 years ago, because of the economic competition concerns. Not because of health issues."
"We are taking something that is less harmful than cigarettes, alcohol, tobacco and we are treating people who use (pot) as criminals," Leach continued.
Sabrina Fendrick is with the National Organization for reform of marijuana laws out of Washington D.C. She says marijuana makes up 50% of all drug arrests in the country and that 90% of those are for possession only.
Fendrick says, "We talk about the revenue that would come in and we could move that money to go to schools, hospitals and healthcare."
"We're destroying lives, we're taking people putting them in jail. Giving them a criminal record, threatening with separation from families, money they have to spend on lawyers and fines," says Leach.
Senator Leach and Fendrick say legalizing pot would only benefit Pennsylvania. The Pennsylvania legislature will consider legalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana and regulating it as alcohol is now regulated. But Governor Corbett has said he would veto any marijuana legalization bill put on his desk.