Recently, Delaware became yet another state to legalize recreational Marijuana and there is a strong possibility that Pennsylvania will make this drug legal before the end of 2023.
Why make it legal—money not health!
Legal Marijuana is a money maker for state coffers and the media continues to tout its benefits while ignoring its negative influence on health and safety. In a time when federal and state governments have taken measures to stamp out smoking, especially among the young adult population, these same state governments do not take this same approach to marijuana. They give a pass to marijuana users and much like the case of childhood obesity epidemic, ignore this public health crisis.
Marijuana is a drug that impairs the senses, just like alcohol. Unlike alcohol, however, many medical doctors, pharmacists, and other medical professionals promote it! They, like state governments, benefit financially from this gateway drug. They highlight the benefits and ignore the side effects to the user and the general public.
Philadelphia and Marijuana
Philadelphia, however, didn’t wait for the State government to act and has already decriminalized the drug. A person literally can’t walk through downtown Philadelphia on a Saturday afternoon without smelling Marijuana; much like the days when it was common to leave a restaurant or bar smelling like you just smoked a pack of cigarettes! Marijuana is literally on every corner in downtown Philadelphia, especially in its historic sections. Visitors and residents cannot walk a block without encountering it or a completely out of control homeless problem.
Philadelphia already has a mass population exodus problem, in addition to families choosing to patronize various suburban offering over city businesses especially for their children, especially on the weekend. Its not uncommon for parents to plan birthday, graduations and religious celebrations in New Jersey or the Pennsylvania suburbs over any venue in Philadelphia.
Numbers don’t lie!
Philadelphia was among the top 10 U.S. counties with the largest population drops from 2021 to 2022. While “experts” have cited various reasons for this mass exodus, it is hard not to look at the spike in crime throughout the city as a major factor. There were 193 carjackings in 2017, but the number increased substantially since that time with 409 in 2020, 847 in 2021 and over 850 in 2022. We are not even halfway through 2023 and there have already been over 140 homicides in Philadelphia!
According to the latest census data, Philadelphia lost over 22,000 residents between July 2021 and July 2022. It was the largest decline in population since 1977! While Philadelphia lost residents, Montgomery and Chester counties in Pennsylvania saw increases in their population as did Burlington, and Gloucester counties in New Jersey.
While some residents may remain in the city regardless of how bad things get within it, others, especially young professional families, are clearly leaving Philadelphia for safer suburbs, better schools, better political leaders, and an overall better quality of life in counties in Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Yet with all these problems, Philadelphia chose to decriminalize a drug which will not only make its residents even more unhealthy but add an additional layer to the lack of public safety in the city. Legal marijuana will, without a doubt, increase the number of drug driving offenses (DUI) which directly affects residents’ safety and will just provide another reason for young families to avoid traveling into the already dangerous City.
In addition, this drug will cause its user to act often out of character and commit crimes like assault, simply because their judgment is impaired. In addition to criminal problems, the drug will increase the number of automobile accidents in a place where residents often pay twice the national average for car insurance.
The next time you travel into Philadelphia, look and smell around and ask yourself did a City with failing schools, skyrocketing crime, and a list of other problems really need to decriminalize a drug which will only make it worse!
Contact Our Criminal Defense Lawyers in PA & NJ
Please click here to contact our Philadelphia criminal defense lawyers. We offer free case reviews and serve the following areas in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Atlantic City, Camden, Cherry Hill, Chester, Conshohocken, Doylestown, Media, Norristown, Philadelphia, Pottstown, Salem, Upper Darby, Upper Merion, Upper Providence, Vineland & Woodbury areas.