Legalize pot for more jobs?

Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) has authored a bill to legalize marijuana in Pennsylvania. (Ed Hille / Staff Photographer, file)

Somewhere in the flap over Gov. Corbett's statement that "many employers" can't find "anyone who has passed a drug test," lurks what seems like maybe a sensible solution.

This, of course, assumes the guv is correct about the "many" and the "anyone."

But lets say for the sake of argument that he and the biz types who rushed to affirm his conclusion that (to be kind) at least part of the state's unemployment problem is that too many folks seeking jobs are (or recently were) high.

Why not, then, boost state employment by legalizing marijuana?

After all, a Pew Research Center national poll just last month says a majority of Americans support legalizing pot. And the numbers are moving toward increased support.

The findings say the current breadown is 52-percent for and 45-precent against legalization. That represents a seven-point jump in support in the last two years and a 20-point jump since 2002.

The poll relfects a jump in usage, too: nearly half of Americans (48-percent) say they've tried marijuana and 47-percent say they have used it within the past year.

Conveniently, there's legislation pending in PA to respond to this growing support.

Sen. Daylin Leach, D-Montco, and a candidate for Congress, has a bill to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana which he says would free up law enforcement for more serious efforts and make the state more money.

He also says, "We are talking something that is less harmful than cigarettes, alcohol, tobacco and we are treating people who use (pot) as criminals."

He didn't say anything about legalization impacting job growth, but then that was before we all learned that pot is hurting job growth.

So the issue seems to have public support. It could mean more money for the state and -- again, assuming Corbett's "many" and "anyone" claim is accurate -- a lower state unemployment rate.

Two birds, in other words, with one stoned.

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