At a Pennsylvania Senate session on July 6, two senators introduced Senate Bill 846 to legalize adult use marijuana. While the bill is being reviewed by the Senate Law and Justice committee pending further deliberation, Pittsburgh cannabis advocates are pushing for the destigmatization of the plant.
“This is a much bigger issue than just cannabis — it’s about giving people the right to be able to find health and wellness in the way that they want to and to not have to feel like the government will tell them how they’re allowed to heal,” says Gina Vensel, a Pittsburgh native and plant-based medicine educator and advocate. Vensel is also on the executive committee of the Pittsburgh branch of NORML, the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
Bill 846, filed by Republican Daniel Laughlin and Democrat Sharif Street, would establish a Cannabis Regulatory Control Board, in addition to allowing the purchase of cannabis products for anyone over the age of 21 at dispensaries, giving medical card holders the right to home grow cannabis and expunging nonviolent cannabis-related convictions.
“Legalized adult use of marijuana is supported by an overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians and this legislation accomplishes that while also ensuring safety