A push for taxing marijuana in Centre County – Story | WTAJ – WTAJ
State College, Centre County, Pa. – Pennyslvania’s Auditor General, Eugene DePasquale, said taxing marijuana could rake in big bucks and big business for the area.
Marijuana is legal in eight states–Pennsylvania is not one of them.
“It’s a drug, it’s illegal, whether I agree or disagree, it is illegal and i believe people should follow the law…I also believe in advocating for changes in the law,” DePasquale said.
DePasquale said he’s pushing for regulation and taxation of the drug state-wide.
On Thursday he met with State College Borough Mayor Elizabeth Goreham to discuss possibilities in the region.
“You have real business owners with real business licenses, passing real background checks, making sure you’re not selling it to kids. So there’s a whole process that goes with that,” DePasquale said.
He said currently Pennsylvania’s budget is facing a $3 billion deficit..
And trading criminal offenses for manageable distribution and taxes could save the state at least $10 million.
DePasquale said it should be a no-brainer decision but the legislature is his biggest obstacle.
“That’s shocking to hear, I mean because they’re so proactive on so many important issues….and please know that sarcasm is flying out of my mouth,” DePasquale said.
DePasquale said there’s a clear generation gap on where the nation stands on marijuana.
“The younger you are the more likely you are supporting…Even if you don’t use it., for changing the law,” DePasquale said.
Last August the State College Borough Council voted to decriminalize possession of less than 30 grams of the substance, from a misdemeanor to a civil violation, but it does not include offenses on campus.
“This follows you your whole life and if you get a felony in college, you’re really shrinking your opportunities in later life,” Goreham said.
DePasquale said working together with law enforcement