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Bipartisan Pennsylvania Senators Say They Have The Votes To Legalize Marijuana, But Governor Needs To Step Up Engagement

Bipartisan Pennsylvania lawmakers say the votes are there to pass a marijuana legalization bill as soon as this year, though they stressed that the governor needs to work across the aisle to get the job done—and argued that it would be helpful if the federal government implemented its proposed cannabis rescheduling rule sooner rather than later.

During an X Spaces event on Wednesday, Sens. Dan Laughlin (R) and Sharif Street (D), as well as Rep. Amen Brown (D), discussed the prospects of enacting cannabis reform in the current session, expressing tentative optimism even though there are still outstanding issues to resolve.

There also appeared to be agreement that the 20 percent tax rate for marijuana that was included in Gov. Josh Shapiro’s (D) latest budget was too high. And while there may be debate among members about Democrats’ push for equity-focused provisions in whatever deal emerges, Laughlin indicated that GOP leadership is more amenable to some version of the reform than might meet the eye.

“I’ve been advocating for this for almost three years now, and I will say that, in that time, the attitudes amongst the Senate Republicans has certainly softened,” Laughlin said during the social media event hosted

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