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John Hanger For Governor In PA Has A Three Step Plan To Reform Marijuana Laws

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pennsylvania john hanger marijuana governor candidateBy John Hanger

Today I am proposing a three-step reform of our marijuana laws to allow medical use of marijuana, reduce prison overcrowding, ameliorate racial discrimination in marijuana arrests, and save money.

I am calling for immediately allowing the use of marijuana for medical purposes, reducing the penalties for possessing small amounts of marijuana to a summary offense similar to a traffic ticket by 2015, and finally regulating and taxing marijuana use by 2017 if the previous reforms are successful and monitoring the experience in state that have legalized marijuana use.

Nationally, in 2010, 46 percent of all drug arrests were for marijuana offenses and 88 percent of the marijuana arrests were for possession. Right now, Pennsylvania is spending $325 million a year processing non-violent people through our criminal justice system for the offense of possessing marijuana. We’re arresting about 25,000 each year for possession of marijuana, and unfortunately African-Americans are arrested far more frequently than whites – 5.14 times more frequently. We’re branding people as drug criminals for possession of small amounts of marijuana, and that alone can ruin lives.

We are also denying marijuana to people with medical conditions that marijuana could alleviate. Marijuana is non-addictive and has been shown to be effective in relieving the side effects of chemotherapies for cancer, AIDS, and hepatitis C. It is also effective in treating chronic pain, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. Recognizing the therapeutic benefits of marijuana, 20 states, including our neighboring states of New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware, have legalized its use for medicine when prescribed by a physician.

It’s time to stop wasting money and clogging our criminal justice system with non-violent people whose only offense is possession of small amounts of marijuana. I’m proposing smart, safe and compassionate reforms of our marijuana laws. My plan makes no changes in existing penalties for driving under the influence of marijuana and prohibits the use of marijuana by minors, similar to penalties currently in force for underage drinking.

The plan is available at the campaign website. Regulating and taxing marijuana could bring at least $24 million a year to state coffers, revenue that could be directed to enforcing other laws and incarcerating real criminals, concluded Hanger.

Source: Campaign Website

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8 Comments

  1. Being a relatively new resident of the Keystone State, I find that I shall now have to register to vote for the first time in my 54 years of life. Having read Mr. Hanger’s plan, I realize that he represents the voice of reason (at least on this issue). Millions of $$ wasted on a failed “war” thus ruining the lives of countless young people, law enforcement resources squandered (ie – 2.5 hrs minimum for each marijuana related violation) on victimless crimes while more serious personal attacks go unsolved, medically needful people being stoned out on big pharma meds when they could be productive members of society with the help of herbal medication, natural fibers and oils being disregarded while chemical companies are still allowed to spoil the lands we love. I could go on and on. My personal story is probably like one of many- I was recently (wrongfully) terminated from a job I loved. In preparation for the new job search, I have to clean out my system yada yada. So here I sit, smoking cigarettes and stressing out. So much stress that I ended up in the hospital 2 nights ago with a supposed heart attack. Long story short – no HA, all tests came back good. the diagnosis – stress caused my esophagus to clamp shut which could have been avoided if I had my “meds”. So yes, I will support Mr Hanger and any “politician” who stands for the repeal of prohibition.

  2. Oh really? i would bet he does get elected. Why? You may ask. i used to live in Pa. and he has been in politics over 29 yrs. He stands up for the right things and he is a democrat.
    As soon as we vote out this lame ass republicans, maybe we can get some things completed.

  3. With poles like the ones taken lately where such a huge portion of the population supports mj in some way or another then the subject of mj is not something that can only be discussed in a back room or only amoung close friends anymore. Its a subject that can be spoken of in public because possibly over 70% of the persons present might just agree.

    I think the door is now wide open and i also think things are going to change one day. When i cant say, i just hope its sooner than later.

  4. Its way past time for Pa to have medical marijuana not to mention full legaliation. All of our border states have it except NY which will be soon. Present Govenor Corbett is outdated, physically and in his views on cannabis. His approval rating is far too low, as it should be, for him to be reelected in 2014. Now we will see the candidates trying to get the med marijuana vote. They are like sheep and jump to whatever hot button issue will get them in office. Time to research Mr. John Hanger from this article and see what he is all about. Is he just now jumping on the marijuana bandwagon or has he voiced support previously. How I hate politics.

  5. “…finally regulating and taxing marijuana use by 2017 if the previous reforms are successful..”
    How about now? If you wait that long it will cost a billion dollars and many lives fucked over. JFC!

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