Pittsburgh Mayor Pushes For Recreational Cannabis: 'I’d Rather See Pennsylvania Taking The Lead Than Following'

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto has given his support to recreational cannabis legalization in Pennsylvania. He joins Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney in rallying behind Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale in his call for sale and taxation of cannabis products.

Mayor Peduto is convinced that cannabis legalization is inevitable, and he says he doesn't want Pennsylvania to get left behind.

"I’d rather see Pennsylvania taking the lead than following."

He joins other state officials in supporting DePasquale's plan for legalization and taxing of recreational cannabis. DePasquale claims legalizing cannabis could generate $350 million a year for the state. Peduto, who has long been a supporter of medical marijuana, says it's time to get beyond the tired stigmas of cannabis use.

"There has been no documented research to show that marijuana is a gateway drug," Peduto told the Post-Gazette. "There has been research to show that it is beneficial to those that suffer from depression and other health issues, that may not be able to get a prescription [for medical marijuana] or may feel that getting a prescription could jeopardize their future."

More important than his own feelings on the matter, Peduto says it's what the people want, with over half of Pennsylvanians supporting cannabis legalization.

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Local officials and law enforcers often have fears that allowing legal cannabis shops to operate within their jurisdictions will have detrimental effects. Some people fear that allowing pot shops in their neighborhood will increase violent crime rates, allow young people easier access to the drug and lower the property value of surrounding homes. But is any of that true?

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