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Will Pennsylvania legalize marijuana? The bad spellers say 'Yes!'

- Last modified: January 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM

It has come to my attention recently that the majority of marijuana legalization supporters are not good spellers.

I discovered this when reading the comments to a story Lehigh Valley Business recently published on a bill introduced by State Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montgomery, that would legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in Pennsylvania.

I don't know if people were "actively" supporting marijuana when they chimed in on our comments section, but comments such as "Its actuallu the only thing that curea my nausea" were clearly not run through spell check before posting.

I bring this up because this seems like the biggest concern of people who have been opposing the legalization of marijuana for either medical or recreational purposes.

I've often heard it argued that legalization would turn us into a nation of sloppy stoners.

"Would you want the pilot flying your plane, or the doctor performing your surgery to be hopped up on drugs?!?"

No, of course not.

It's a legitimate concern to wonder if more people would smoke marijuana if it were easier to obtain.

However, alcohol has been legal and freely available to those of age since the 1930s, and plenty of people managed to make it into work sober in the morning.

I don't know if more people are looking to smoke pot, but based on the comments, more people are definitely looking to support the use of marijuana to treat illness, or for those who want to use it in a responsible manner.

One commenter lamented that there are "So many people in pain and suffering that medical marijuana would help."

Even President Obama recently came out and said he thought it was time to start " a conversation" about the medical use of marijuana.

Honestly, that's something I never thought I'd hear in my lifetime, and the legalization of the recreational use of pot in Colorado and Washington state was certainly something I never expected to see.

The times they are a-changin'.

A Gallup poll released in October showed that for the first time, the majority of American people (58 percent) favored marijuana legalization.

To be sure, a contributing factor to that may be that the people who smoked pot in the 1960s are now in their 60s and hold greater positions of power and a lower aversion to recreational drug use.

But one important factor that may have led to the American public and government's increasing support for varying levels of legalization may be the financial one.

According to published reports, Colorado expects to take in more than $70 million in tax revenue through the legalization of marijuana for recreational use.

That's not chump change.

Money that used to be spent chasing down teens with "dime bags" can now be spent on enforcing other nonmarijuana-related crimes, and at least half of the $70 million generated in tax revenue is expected to go toward building new schools.

That's the kind of green even the most conservative of legislators likes to see.

Will it happen here in Pennsylvania?

Hard to tell. A business journal comments page and a Gallup poll can show a turn in public sentiment, but other factors such as regulation and licensing add layers and layers of complications to the issue of legalization, which means you shouldn't be looking to buy pot in bulk at the Costco anytime soon.

Still, Leach's bill has been sent to the Senate Law and Justice Committee for consideration this week, so at the very least Pennsylvania has stepped into the national dialogue over legalization.

What do you think? I'd love to read your comments below. Just double check your spelling, will ya?

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