Progressive Daylin Leach wants to legalize marijuana

Daylin Leach. Credit: Provided
State Sen. Daylin Leach has many progressive views. Credit: Provided

Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach, whose district includes part of Montgomery and Delaware counties, is considered one of the most progressive legislators in the state.

There isn’t a progressive cause, from gay marriage equality to lowering the cost of higher education, to banning shark fins, that he does not champion. Hardly a week goes by without him introducing a new bill.

One of causes close to him is the decriminalization of marijuana. He has introduced a bill to make it legal in the state.

“During the 1920s, we proved that Prohibition does not work,” said Leach. “People should not be unemployable nor have their careers destroyed because they smoked weed. The status quo of marijuana remaining illegal is costing the state a billion dollars when you add up the lost tax revenue, wages and additional costs of law enforcement, prosecution and imprisonment.”

Leach, who is running for Allyson Schwartz’s seat in Congress, has seen interest in his proposal from GOP lawmakers. He jokes that his bill to legalize marijuana would pass if his fellow legislators could vote by “secret ballot.”

“One Senate member told me if the bill passed, he could finally smoke on his porch instead of in the house,” said Leach.

With the cost of college education soaring, the progressive has proposed an innovative solution, which would make college affordable for Pennsylvania residents. His bill, Pay it Forward, Pay it Back, will allow students to borrow money for college from a fund created by taxing Marcellus Shale revenues.

The money will be interest free and will be paid back through a 4 percent garnishment of wages.

Leach argues, “With Pennsylvania having one of the lowest college graduation rates in the country, the state vitally needs an overhaul of its higher education system so its citizens will have the skills to work in this economy and jobs don’t need to be sent overseas.”

Supporting LGBT rights

The colorful Leach, whose persona is the opposite of buttoned-down, does not just show his support for gay rights by voting in support of these issues in the Senate. Leach has been officiating at gay weddings since Montgomery County Register of Wills D. Bruce Hanes ruled them legal.

“I became a minister online in the Universalist Life Church to perform my brother’s wedding,” he said. “The only religious question that they asked was: ‘Do you have the money to pay our fee?’ I have officiated at five gay weddings with two more planned.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Oval oasis: Summer of fun kicks off this…

A bold partnership between the Fairmount Park Conservancy and the city's Parks and Recreation Department is kicking off this weekend with family activities re-activating this unused public space.

Local

African couple claiming misidentification in robbery case to…

At a bail hearing today for Vickson and Lorfu Korlewala, charged in the robbery of an 80-year-old woman, bail was reduced from $1 million total to $500,000.

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

Music

Both feet on the ground with Aimee Mann…

What began with a cool double-bill of Ted Leo opening for Aimee Mann morphed into a full-fledged collaborative project that they're calling The Both. “There…

MLB

Jimmy Rollins is key to Phillies success

When John Kruk was asked about what the Phillies need to contend for a playoff berth, the ESPN analyst said Jimmy Rollins needs to play like a MVP again.

MLB

Ben Revere lifts Phillies to avoid sweep

Ben Revere came through with a two-out RBI single against Atlanta’s tough lefthander Alex Wood.

NBA

Season wrap: 76ers make the grade

The 76ers opened the 2013-14 season with a victory over the Miami Heat. The Sixers closed the season with a win at Miami.

NBA

Fantasy basketball: Finding next year's NBA studs

Before we put the 2013-14 fantasy basketball season to bed, it’s worth thinking about next year’s breakouts while they’re fresh in our mind.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.