Editorial: Fix medical marijuana loopholes before growing to recreational usePosted by On


Pennsylvania has a marijuana problem.

The state legalized weed for medical use in 2016. Dispensaries started opening their doors two years later, with the government picking up a 5% tax on sales. That translates to millions in revenue for the public coffers.

Dispensaries were barely opened when the discussion of recreational use started. Then-Auditor General Eugene DePasquale said the few million in taxes generated on cannabis as a medicine could become hundreds of millions if pot became openly available beyond therapeutic use. In 2019, Gov. Tom Wolf conducted a listening tour asking Pennsylvanians how they felt. In 2020, Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman began to push for recreational use. Bills were introduced in the state House and Senate with bipartisan support — although they have languished since.

The timeline was no surprise. Almost 60% of Pennsylvanians supported the idea. Why not go for it?

Perhaps because it’s too fast. Whether you support it or not, the state hasn’t yet perfected dealing with medical marijuana. It’s just not ready for more widespread use.

A Spotlight PA investigation showed that while state law does keep workers from repercussions for being prescribed marijuana, actually using it can still get them in trouble. Marijuana showing up in a drug test is a valid reason for discipline, up to losing a job. That’s a problem.

Drug testing is meant to protect employers from risk and ensure safe workplaces. Regardless of support for…

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