CLOSE

Auditor General Eugene Depasquale talks about his proposal to legalize recreational marijuana as a tax revenue source for Pennsylvania. Wochit

Depasquale says majority of Pennsylvanians are ready for legal pot Buy Photo

Auditor General Eugene Depasquale talks about feedback he has received after his suggestion to legalize recreational marijuana as a tax revenue during an interview in the York Daily Record conference room on Thursday, March 16, 2017. (Photo: Jason Plotkin, York Daily Record)Buy Photo

The man behind the proposal to legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania has never smoked a joint.

“I’ve been in the same room as it,” Auditor General Eugene Depasquale said on Thursday.

Depasquale paused.

“I don’t think I’ve ever taken a puff off of a (legal) cigarette,” he  said.

But Depasquale said he has done his research, found the medical community has determined marijuana is not physically addictive and, if legalized, could generate up to $200 million a year for the commonwealth. Depasquale said that estimate is conservative.

Since announcing his proposal last week, Depasquale said he has received more feedback than any other topic since he was sworn in as auditor general in 2013.

He said the response has been “overwhelmingly positive.”

Depasquale said recreational marijuana supporters come in three categories: Those who say “Regulate it, tax it. We’ve lost the war (on drugs.)”

Others, he said, compare it to the failed Prohibition Era, which resulted in bootlegging and gang wars.

Then, Depasquale said, there are those “who actually do it and think that the idea of it being illegal is silly and they go through the studies how, at least in their view, it is less harmful than alcohol, tobacco, etc., etc.”

Read More Here...