A recently proposed Pennsylvania legalization bill is being called the “gold standard” by some cannabis legalization advocates. The bill features nearly everything that could be asked for in a state cannabis legalization bill. When most states pursue the legalization of cannabis, they move methodically and tactically. SB 350, as it is known, would instead put Pennsylvania at the forefront of progessive legalization.
It is important to note how slowly cannabis legalization takes place across the country. For example, the legalization of recreational cannabis in California occurred more than 20 years after the legalization of cannabis for medical use. According to the Philadelphia Enquirer, SB 350 would include provisions for, “growing cannabis at home, expungement of all cannabis criminal records, pizza-like delivery of marijuana to your door, and just about any Pennsylvanian could enter the trade as a grower or a retailer.”
Allowing people to grow their own cannabis and receive deliveries at home is an important step towards granting everyone equal access to cannabis. This is especially useful to those who may not be able to leave their home due to any number of medical diagnoses. Making cannabis available to those who may want or need it should be a focal point for all states when they attempt to pass legalization measures.
Most Important Facet Of SB 350
While the legalization of cannabis for recreational use in Pennsylvania would be an accomplishment in its own right, there are other more important aspects of SB 350. One specific under-discussed feature of SB 350 is the potential expunging of all cannabis-related criminal records. Nothing in the bill has a greater potential to change lives than clearing criminal records. During the height of the war on drugs, millions of lives were destroyed by arrests and convictions for nothing more than non-violent cannabis-related “crimes.”
Though the trauma and suffering caused by inexcusable abuses of rights can never be undone, the expunging of criminal records can at least improve the prospects of the lives of many. This and some of the other facets make SB 350 a very important bill. It remains to be seen whether or not the bill will pass, but if it does, Pennsylvania will stand out as a state with some of the most progressive cannabis laws in the country.
Lane is based in Southern California and is a content curator for Medical Marijuana 411. He focuses his research into finding informative stories that can help medical marijuana patients better understand their diverse medicine.