By Jessica Berardino

PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – Pennsylvania State Senator Daylin Leach has joined the Pittsburgh NORML cause for legalizing medicinal and recreational marijuana.

Tuesday night he joined the organization in the Strip District to meet-and-greet with spectators and members.

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Last week, the Senator took a trip to Colorado for a first hand look at what was really going on inside the grow shops and police departments with the legal marijuana. He explained that just like prohibition of alcohol, this prohibition on marijuana is “cruel and heartless.”

(Source: Sen. Daylin Leach’s Office)

Leach believes that the Senate needs to understand the entire bill before choosing a side, they need to see first hand what is working and what is not.

“And in fact our bill, the bill that Senator Leach is authored, would admit a medicating patient to use vaporization in public because it’s not a carcinogen there’s no release of smoke, it cannot possibly cause second hand smoke,” said Patrick Nightengale, the Executive Director of Pittsburgh NORML. “The bill does not permit the public smoking of marijuana. So it was very important I think, and very responsible of Senator Leach to investigate this and to see exactly what we’re talking about when we’re talking about a different and more effective way of delivering medicine.”

The Senator explains that it’s been about 25-years since he had inhaled marijuana so this was his first time and he joked that he was a “light weight” and it only took him two drags to feel something. Many believe that smokers roll the marijuana into ‘joints’ but the Senator says what he noticed was that everyone was now smoking out of what was called a Vap-Pen, this resembles an E-cigarette.

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During his business trip, the Senator spoke with growers, dispensers, users, the opposition, and police to understand every side of the situation. He was also able to tour the inside of a grow factory and noticed how many people were working there. He said there were scientists and other high-paying employees who were helping monitor and create marijuana.

The revenue he says won’t just come from the sale of marijuana but also from the accessories, apparel, and the hundreds that won’t be spent on criminals incarcerated for marijuana charges.

“I didn’t fly out to Colorado to get high,” said Senator Leach. “Again, I haven’t smoked for 25 years, and I have no great desire to get high. And if I wanted to get high there’s plenty in Pennsylvania. I wouldn’t have stayed away from my family for four days. This was to learn about an issue which is coming to Pennsylvania and the stakes are incredibly high about whether we get it right or wrong. And I learned a lot about that and it’s important that we take some time to learn about the issue.”



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