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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — On the same day Center City’s first medical marijuana dispensary opened, a Philadelphia city councilman is planning to introduce legislation that would allow voters to decide on decriminalizing marijuana. Councilman Derek Green argues that last fall, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf suggested that the state should consider legalizing marijuana and now he wants to know how Philadelphians feel about the issue.
“It’s important for the largest city in the Commonwealth, for its citizens to weigh in on the idea,” Green told CBS Philly.
Green says that if marijuana were to be legalized, it would be done at the state level. But he first wants to know how Philadelphians feel about the proposal.
Green argues that with 10 states already having decriminalized marijuana, and New Jersey taking steps to do so, it is time for Pennsylvania to decide.
“The days of cannabis being perceived as a taboo subject are long gone. We continue to see the proven benefits of medical cannabis and watch as economic opportunities in this billion-dollar industry skyrocket,” said Green in a statement. “Thus, it is important and necessary to hear directly from the citizens of Philadelphia about whether they believe there is a future here for legalized, regulated cannabis.”
Green also addressed the issued in a Facebook Live Thursday.
In the video, Green estimates that through medical marijuana sales alone, the state will bring in about $2 billion by 2022.
“This could provide an opportunity of revenue for us, not only the Commonwealth, but for the city of Philadelphia,” Green says.
“I want to hear from you, the voters, on whether this is a good or bad idea,” he said.
A hearing regarding the legislation is scheduled for Feb. 5.
Thursday also marked a milestone in the city as BEYOND/HELLO opened in Center City — Center City’s first medicinal marijuana shop.