"With Pennsylvania teetering on the edge of another budget cliff, it is immensely clear to me that we must get creative in finding long-term revenue solutions to prevent total financial collapse."
So begins an op-ed from Eugene DePasquale, Pennsylvania's Auditor General. DePasquale, a Democratic politician who also served in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives from 2007 to 2013, goes on to make a strong case for legalizing cannabis. Currently, only medical marijuana is legal in Pennsylvania.
"I very conservatively estimate potential revenues from regulating and taxing marijuana in Pennsylvania to be about $200 million a year," said DePasquale.
While DePasquale focuses on the financial benefits of legalization, he also cites the wastefulness of criminalizing marijuana, stating simply, that "the police and court systems have more urgent issues to address."