Robinson pushes marijuana bill

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Once when talking about the failures of some “green” business ventures in Homewood, activist Paradise Gray quipped that “the only green business in the hood is selling weed.”

Well, that could turn out to be truer than he thought.

With the boom in tax revenue expected in the states of Colorado and Washington following their legalization of marijuana, Allegheny County Councilman Bill Robinson has introduced a Sense of Council bill in support of pending state legislation to do the same.

If approved, Robinson’s bill would call for the state general assembly to support Senate Bill 528, the “Regulate Marijuana Act,” which is currently in the Law and Justice Committee.  The senate bill would regulate and tax the sale of marijuana just as it does alcohol now, with the same restrictions on sales to minors, public intoxication, driving under the influence, etc.

It would, in fact, be sold through the State Store system.  It would also, Robinson said, save $325 million annually enforcement costs.

Robinson said that at a time when schools are closing and laying off teachers, that level of waste, for arresting same-time users and dealers, is unconscionable. Robinson’s bill also notes the medical benefits of legalization for patients undergoing cancer treatment, glaucoma patients and children with severe epilepsy.

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