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Rep. Brad Roae: pot legalization not likely in PA

Submitted Thu, 12/13/2012 - 7:41am by Andy Alm

MEADVILLE – The legalization of recreational marijuana in two states now begs the question, who’s next?  State Representative Brad Roae says as long as Republican leadership maintains its stronghold in Harrisburg, probably not Pennsylvania.  Roae, a Republican himself representing parts of Crawford County, says in an interview on WMGW 1490 he recognizes the appeal of a hands-off approach by state government, but he thinks drugs are too destructive to warrant legalization, citing drunk driving, people spending money on drugs instead of food, and a link to violent crime.

“A lot of the assaults, murders, rapes, a lot of those things have to do with using excessive amounts of alcohol, excessive amounts of drugs.  I just do not see a benefit to legalizing marijuana.”

Roae says the revenue stream generated by a tax on marijuana probably wouldn’t be all that impressive either.  Roae says the tobacco tax in Pennsylvania generates about 3% of the general fund budget, a significant figure, but he says far fewer people use marijuana.

“Twenty-percent of the population smokes about a pack a day on average.  If you look at the amount of marijuana smoking that takes place every day, I don’t think one out of five people smoke pot every day.”

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