HARRISBURG, June 25, 2013 – State Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware) today participated in a press conference held by the NAACP calling for support of his marijuana legalization legislation.

Pictured L to R: Neill Franklin, Sen. Daylin Leach and David Scott

Pictured L to R: Neill Franklin, Sen. Daylin Leach and David Scott

“I am honored that the NAACP has spoken out in favor of my legislation to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in Pennsylvania,” Leach said. “As noted in recent reports, the war on drugs is racially-biased, inefficient and ineffective; and this modern day prohibition of a product less harmful than alcohol and tobacco needs to end. We can better use the resources we’re spending to fight this unnecessary war, and we can better spend our time and energy cracking down on substances that are actually harmful.”

During the press conference, the Cheltenham Area Branch of the NAACP publicly announced its support for Senate Bill 528, Leach’s legislation to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in Pennsylvania. Citing a report recently conducted by the ACLU, the NAACP noted that the war on drugs operates under a staggering racial bias, is ineffective and subject to over-policing, and wastes resources.

Harvey Crudup, President of the Cheltenham Area Branch (Montgomery County) NAACP said in a statement:

“As a representative of the NAACP and a retired Deputy Chief of Police with more than 31 years of service with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) Police Department, it is time Pennsylvania respond to this injustice in a rational and sensible way. Millions of dollars per year in additional revenues can be generated to build more schools instead of prisons. These tax dollars can also subsidize drug treatment, job training and diversion programs to reduce racial disparities in Pennsylvania’s criminal justice system as well as transportation projects throughout the Commonwealth.”

Speakers at the event included Leach; David Scott, Chair of the Legal Redress Committee for the Cheltenham Area Branch and former Deputy Chief of Police for SEPTA; and Neill Franklin, Executive Director of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) and a 33-year law enforcement veteran.

S.B. 528 currently awaits consideration by the Senate Law and Justice Committee.