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Green Party: Pennsylvania Should Follow Oregon and Decriminalize Drug Use

Fifteen states have now legalized the adult use of cannabis (aka marijuana, ganja, reefer, weed, etc.). While you were occupied with the November 3 election, four states, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota legalized...

Green Party

Fifteen states have now legalized the adult use of cannabis (aka marijuana, ganja, reefer, weed, etc.). While you were occupied with the November 3 election, four states, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota legalized cannabis, joining the other eleven states and two U.S. territories where it was already legal.

A Step Towards Progress: Decriminalizing All Drugs

Voters in Oregon State, where cannabis was legalized in 2015, went a step further and decriminalized heroin, cocaine, and "all drugs," a sentiment clearly stated in the Green Party platform. For many years, the Green Party has advocated for "implementing a step-by-step program to decriminalize all drugs in the United States."

Drug legalization is not only about respect for individual freedom but also fiscal responsibility on the part of the government and progressive criminal justice reform. By legalizing drugs, we can reduce overcrowded jails and free up citizens to contribute positively to society. It means redirecting tax dollars from police raids, legal and incarceration expenses towards more productive investments, consumer spending, and tax revenue.

Addressing Addiction as a Health Issue

If drug use is a personal choice, then the state should have no right to infringe upon individual liberty. If drug use leads to addiction or destructive behavior, it should be addressed by medical professionals, not through incarceration. Mental health professionals have established that addiction is a medical issue rather than a moral debate. Just as we treat schizophrenia as a health condition, we should approach addiction in the same way. Imprisoning addicts and those in recovery is inhumane and counterproductive.

Public Opinion is on the Green Party's Side

The voting public overwhelmingly agrees with the Green Party. In a Gallup poll conducted in October 2020, a supermajority of U.S. voters (68%) expressed support for the legalization of cannabis. A Harper Poll in May 2020 showed that 62% of Pennsylvania voters also supported the legalization of cannabis, including majorities from conservatives, centrists, and liberals. The time has come for the Pennsylvania General Assembly to take action.

Lehigh Valley Green Party Caption: The Lehigh Valley Green Party supports the decriminalization of drug use.

The Green Party of Pennsylvania: Promoting Progressive Policies

The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates base their public policies on the Green Party's Four Pillars: ecological wisdom, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and social justice/equal opportunity. They believe in ending the War on Drugs and implementing a principle-based approach to drug use.

For more information about the Green Party of Pennsylvania, visit their website here. Stay connected with GPPA on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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