The Pennsylvania Side of the Street: A Candidate’s Quest for Legalization

Senator Sharif Street.

Co-prime sponsor of legislation to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania, state Senator Sharif Street of Philadelphia last week formally launched an exploratory committee to run for the United States Senate in 2022.

At his launch, the Democrat unveiled broad support for his candidacy.

Of course he has company among other Pennsylvania elected officials interested in the seat occupied by retiring U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA.), including Lt. Governor John Fetterman.

Fetterman also backs cannabis legalization, but Street notes that he has championed the issue longer.

“I want to thank the lieutenant governor for being a big supporter of my legislation,” the state senator told InsiderNJ on a Zoom call this morning. “I first introduced cannabis legislation before he was lieutenant governor but when he got there he jumped onboard and has been a big supporter of my legislation. I thank him for jumping onboard and trying to be helpful.”

Fetterman has used his perch to try to expedite a process by which those convicted of nonviolent marijuana crimes can apply to be pardoned.

“I’ve been a supporter of expanded use of the pardons’ process but it is slow and cumbersome and understaffed,” said Street, who in the interview made a pragmatic case for cannabis legalization through legislative channels.

Governor Tom Wolfe has already said he would sign cannabis legalization into law.

The InsiderNJ interview included Street’s plan to get his bill to the governor’s desk, consideration of the details, including a social justice component, a constitutional amendment to dedicate cannabis revenues, parental notification, expungement versus sealing the records of past marijuana transgressors, how legalization fits into Street’s statewide jobs and economic program, and his thoughts on making cannabis legal in all 50 states.

Pragmaticism is the key word, argued the senator.

“There will be reductions in the size of government in our criminal justice system alone because we will not have to process so many people convicted of cannabis crimes,” said the senator. “The key is finding sources of revenue that do not take money out of regular people’s pockets. This would generate $600 million to a billion dollars. That goes a long way to not having to raise people’s taxes.”

Below, please find the (FULL!) interview with Senator Street:

 

 

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  • Brian Kelly

    Marijuana consumers deserve and demand equal rights and protections under our laws that are currently afforded to the drinkers of far more dangerous and deadly, yet perfectly legal, widely accepted, endlessly advertised and even glorified as an All-American pastime, alcohol.

    Plain and simple!

    Legalize Nationwide!

    It’s time for us, the majority of The People to take back control of our national marijuana policy. By voting OUT of office any and all politicians who very publicly and vocally admit to having an anti-marijuana, prohibitionist agenda! Time to vote’em all OUT of office. Period. Plain and simple.

    Politicians who continue to demonize Marijuana, Corrupt Law Enforcement Officials who prefer to ruin peoples lives over Marijuana possession rather than solve real crimes who fund their departments toys and salaries with monies acquired through Marijuana home raids, seizures and forfeitures, and so-called “Addiction Specialists” who make their income off of the judicial misfortunes of our citizens who choose marijuana, – Your actions go against The Will of The People and Your Days In Office Are Numbered! Find new careers before you don’t have one.

    The People have spoken! Get on-board with Marijuana Legalization Nationwide, or be left behind and find new careers. Your choice.

    • Brian Kelly

      The “War on Marijuana” has been a complete and utter failure. It is the largest component of the broader yet equally unsuccessful “War on Drugs” that has cost our country over a trillion dollars.

      Instead of The United States wasting Billions upon Billions more of our yearly tax dollars fighting a never ending “War on Marijuana”, lets generate Billions of dollars, and improve the deficit instead. It’s a no brainer.

      The Prohibition of Marijuana has also ruined the lives of many of our loved ones. In numbers greater than any other nation, our loved ones are being sent to jail and are being given permanent criminal records. Especially, if they happen to be of the “wrong” skin color or they happen to be from the “wrong” neighborhood. Which ruin their chances of employment for the rest of their lives, and for what reason?

      Marijuana is much safer to consume than alcohol. Yet do we lock people up for choosing to drink?

      Let’s end this hypocrisy now!

      The government should never attempt to legislate morality by creating victim-less marijuana “crimes” because it simply does not work and costs the taxpayers a fortune.

      Marijuana Legalization Nationwide is an inevitable reality that’s approaching much sooner than prohibitionists think and there is nothing they can do to stop it!

      Legalize Nationwide! Support Each and Every Marijuana Legalization Initiative!

      • Brian Kelly

        Legalize Nationwide! State by state if need be!

        It’s time our country wakes up and learns from our history.

        Prohibition does not prevent people from consuming marijuana. The demand will be there always and therefore marijuana will always be served up to the public regardless of marijuana prohibition laws. The alcohol prohibition era criminal organizations and gangsters such as Al Capone of yesteryear are the Pablo Escobar, El Chapo and drug cartels of today.

        The Temperance Movement didn’t catch on and last in part because it was a dead horse from the start.

        Prohibition only serves to further fuel the vast wealth and corruption, violence and death attributed to the criminal organizations which flourish under it by providing marijuana to meet the continual demand at inflated prices. Just like with alcohol, marijuana prohibition doesn’t work, makes no sense, and costs the tax payers a fortune yearly.

        Legalization creates jobs, improves the economy and let’s us as a nation focus the wasted resources currently used to criminalize citizens over marijuana towards things much more needed and useful.

        • Brian Kelly

          Tell us something prohibitionists:

          Why do you feel justified in endlessly wasting billions upon billions of our yearly federal tax dollars continuing to arrest, criminalize, incarcerate, and hand out life long permanent criminal records to otherwise hard-working, tax-paying, adult citizens for choosing to consume marijuana although it is far safer than perfectly legal, widely accepted alcohol?

          Shouldn’t their first and foremost priority be protesting the legality of alcohol if they really aren’t just biased and truly so “concerned” about other people on what those whom oppose marijuana legalization deem to be a “dangerous drug”?

          Why do the anti-marijuana folk apply such a blatantly obvious unfair double standard to far less dangerous marijuana that they obviously don’t apply equally to far more deadly, dangerous and harmful yet perfectly legal, widely accepted alcohol?

          Legalize Nationwide!

  • rickyfin

    Brian Kelly: Dear Sir: I have read each of your posts and want to express my sincere appreciation for you posting so eloquently on this subject. I totally support your efforts to inform the public on why and how we can end the terrible falsehoods about marijuana.

    Your words say everything and for that I say thank you and keep up the good work. I am a retiree and marijuana helps me with pain. Marijuana makes my day worth living. I have not long for this earth but rejoice when I read comments like your that inspire so many of us old folk.

    Thank You again.

    Sincerely, Rickyfin….

    • Brian Kelly

      Thank you for your kind words Rickyfin.

      It sure feels good to get some positive feed back and appreciation.

      • rickyfin

        you deserve all the positive feedback you get. Many support your views. I just took the time to acknowledge your passion and commitment.

        My very best to you.

  • Bruce Todd

    Citizens should recognize this for what it is. This is the same Opium War against the United States, that China endured during their “Opium Wars”,and which they call part of the 100 Years Of Humiliation that they recognized they endured under British and other Colonial Powers. 10’s of millions of their people were psychologically and physically addicted to opium and other drugs as their nation was carved up as the helpless victims they became. In the name of the “New Drug Money Boom”, this is nothing less than that, with some states already moving to legitimize even heroin and other drugs. Without a thinking generation of youth in an increasingly more technologically oriented world, it does not take a rocket scientist to imagine the trajectory the nation and its people are headed for. Remember the end result of those complacent goats following the lead goat with the clanking bell.

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