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Auditor General renews call for legal recreational marijuana

Written by Rachel McDevitt | Jul 17, 2017 4:41 PM
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(Harrisburg) -- The state Auditor General is not stopping his call for legalized recreational marijuana in the commonwealth.

Auditor General Eugene DePasquale came out in support of legal recreational marijuana earlier this year, saying revenue from taxes could reach $200 million.

Now he says on top of helping ease the state's financial issues, legal pot could be a useful tool in fighting the opioid epidemic.

DePasquale says research shows there are 25% fewer deaths from opioid overdose in states that permit medical marijuana use.

"So the connection I'm drawing there is: there are times when there are going to be people who will smoke marijuana as a way to reduce their pain," DePasquale said. "The ideal would be for nobody to have any pain, but that's not reality. In many instances, marijuana is a much safer alternative than opioids."

DePasquale says he's not trying to play doctor, he's just looking at the numbers.

More than 4,600 Pennsylvanians died of a drug overdose last year.

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