Manufacturers Urge Long-Term View Before Legalizing Marijuana

Member Group : PA Manufacturers' Assn.

The following is attributed to David N. Taylor, President & CEO of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association:

“For anyone who cares about helping unemployed or underemployed Pennsylvanians achieve the dignity of a family-sustaining job, mass-commercialization of recreational marijuana would be a major setback. It is wrong to jeopardize the future success of these vulnerable citizens so that Harrisburg can make a quick buck for Wolf Administration overspending.”

“In recent years there has been a bipartisan consensus on corrections reform to help former offenders earn a new beginning after release, with a particular focus on work. The Clean Slate Act and licensing reform are recent examples of that effort, recognizing that employment is foundational for former offenders to build a new life for themselves. Remaining drug-free is also usually a requirement for people on probation or parole.”

“Pennsylvania will forfeit this very real opportunity for social progress if more individuals use recreational drugs, thereby rendering themselves unemployable in many fields including industry, health care, and finance. Employers are subject to the requirements of OSHA under federal law and the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act at the state level, in addition to many other federal and state laws and regulations. Employers’ licenses, permits, and insurance policies depend on maintaining a safe workplace. Employers who fail to maintain workplace safety face significant legal and financial penalties, especially the exposure to potentially ruinous lawsuits if a workplace accident occurs.”

“In an industrial environment, workers use heavy equipment and bladed instruments. Chemical reactions, extreme temperatures, and high voltage are often present. For these reasons, manufacturing employers require a drug-free workplace. One example is Wolf Home Products in York, PA (, where the cabinetmaking company informs potential new hires: ‘Drug Free Work Environment – Pre-employment Drug Screening Required.’”

“At any given moment, there are roughly six thousand (6,000) open manufacturing jobs in the commonwealth. Because manufacturing is the sector that adds the most value, manufacturing jobs almost always offer better wages and benefits than retail or service jobs. By mass-commercializing recreational marijuana, Pennsylvania will see increased usage, meaning fewer people will be eligible for these family-sustaining jobs, including the people who would benefit most from having them – the unemployed, underemployed, and people returning to the workforce, including former offenders.”

“The nationally-recognized success of Pennsylvania’s corrections reforms should be defended and build upon. We will be a healthier, stronger, more just society when those Pennsylvanians who have served their time are able to achieve a family-sustaining job that sets a positive trajectory for their lives.”


Founded in 1909 by Bucks County industrialist Joseph Grundy, the Pennsylvania Manufacturers’ Association is the Harrisburg-based statewide non-profit trade organization representing the manufacturing sector in Pennsylvania’s public policy process. To learn more, visit