PPN Warns of New Bill to Legalize Marijuana in Pennsylvania

Several Pennsylvania news outlets have reported that another new bill aiming to legalize marijuana in the Keystone State is making its way through the legislature.

According to Fox 43, House Bill 2050, introduced by State Rep. Jake Wheatley (D-Allegheny), would not only legalize the narcotic, but also expunge records for people with non-violent related offenses. 

It’s not the first bill of its kind, and it’s also not the first time the Pennsylvania Pastors Network  has warned of the detrimental effects of legalizing pot in the state.

“As a pastor for more than 45 years and serving a church in Altoona for nearly 25 years, I have seen many people agonize over using and abusing marijuana,” said PPN Executive Director Gary Dull. “I believe it is a great mistake to legalize the narcotic for recreational use for several reasons.”

First, Dull said, all should consider the impact of marijuana on the physical health of users.

“Studies reveal that even casual marijuana use has very damaging effects on the brain, to the point that it can lead to mental illness,” Dull said. “This was the finding of a study conducted by the Journal of Neuroscience that should be seriously considered. Frequently, children are even hospitalized due to using marijuana accidentally, which indicates that such exposure has health risks that can be very detrimental.”

Secondly, Dull said, the addictive impact of marijuana must remain a focus.

“As a pastor,” he said, “I make efforts to uphold biblical teaching, and the Bible tells us to avoid anything that may ‘master’ our bodies (1 Corinthians 6:12).  Most of us know someone who has ruined their life through addictive drugs. Families have been broken, jobs have been lost, and lives have even been taken as a result of the use of addictive drugs. Additionally, most people recognize that marijuana is an ‘entrance or gateway drug’ that has the great potential to lead to more serious drug use and abuse.”

Thirdly, he added, financial impact of legalizing recreational marijuana must be also be considered.

“The more people who get involved with marijuana, the more who will become addicted and the more it will cost the citizens and the government of the commonwealth to rehab those who have become addicted. Already our state has many financial concerns, to which another burden does not need to be added.”

Fourth, Dull continued, an educational impact is also at stake.

“Various studies have shown that students who used marijuana regularly are less likely to finish high school and go on to higher education than those who do not use the drug,” he said. “This results in future generations that may be less educated and unequipped to teach and lead their families to a more educated and higher-quality lifestyle. Less education and a lower-quality lifestyle contribute to many negative elements in society.

“Simply put, legal recreational marijuana is not a good direction for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, due to the many detrimental effects this may have on certain individuals specifically and the population in general,” Dull concluded. “I pray legislators will seriously consider the negative impact of recreational marijuana before they move forward to legalize such a questionable drug.”

Last year, Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman embarked on a “listening tour” to every Keystone State county to hear what residents thought about legalizing recreational marijuana. He and Gov. Tom Wolf announced the findings in September.

4 thoughts on “PPN Warns of New Bill to Legalize Marijuana in Pennsylvania

  1. This is a very exciting time for PA. We embrace Cannabis. We know it to be a helpful medicine. Cannabis is great for meditation and healing. Most of the concerns about Cannabis have been proven to be generalizations that do not reflect the full-picture. The consequences of prohibition outweigh any of the benefits.

  2. Your comments are absolutely unfounded and untrue. Marijuana helps the brain it doesn’t make people dumb. I smoked all through high school and got A’s and B’s. Also, I was an addict to opioids and it helped me get off of them. So it would lower the amount of addicts, not add to it. It is definitely not a gateway drug like cigarettes or alcohol, which is legal and detrimental. Also, marijuana is only going to be legal for adults, so even if it does have effects on kids brains, that is not even an issue. Marijuana also helps with depression and a lot of many other ailments, unlike the legal drugs that doctors push. It doesn’t cause mental illness, it helps. So please do actual research before you spread lies and old school propaganda l.

  3. A pastor having a say in politics? Separation of church and state for a reason. This bill will pass. If not this one than the next one. When you are missing out on billions of dollars in revenues because of social conservatives like yourselves then it doesnt matter what you say period. ALL OF YOUR FACTS are not backed up by one relevant research outlet. You show no citations. You are empty of info and spreading fear. Cant wait to see the church crumble like it is.

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