Pennsylvania governor, attorney general signal support for recreational marijuana

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor Tom Wolf announced his support for legalizing recreational marijuana in the state last week, arguing that most residents are in favor of joining the 11 states where cannabis is fully legal.

“I think it’s time for the General Assembly to sit down and craft a bill that actually recognizes that Pennsylvania is ready for this, and also takes advantage of what we’ve learned from other states in terms of what to do and what not to do,” the second-term governor told reporters at his office.

Wolf was joined at the news conference by Lieutenant-Governor John Fetterman, who stated that those against the recreational use of marijuana are now a “minority” in Pennsylvania, a swing state where Republicans currently control both chambers of the legislature.

Wolf and Fetterman also urged lawmakers to pass legislation to decriminalize non-violent cannabis offenses and small possession charges, as well as work on expunging past convictions of these offenses.

“This has the potential to affect tens of thousands of Pennsylvanians, many of whom had their lives shattered by a conviction on an action that most Pennsylvanians do not believe is a crime. Together we can get more Pennsylvanians back to work, working across the aisle in this building,” Governor Wolf explained.

The neighboring state of New York recently moved to expunge the records of over 150,000 people with marijuana convictions.

Wolf’s announcement was followed by a statement from Pennsylvania’s Attorney General Josh Shapiro expressing support for full legalization as well.

“After months of internal research & discussions with fellow law enforcement, I am in support of efforts to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana use for Pennsylvanians over the age of 21,” the state’s top attorney tweeted.

However, Pennsylvania House Republicans were quick to snub the efforts to allow the sale and use of recreational cannabis in the state. “We are disappointed and frustrated Gov. Wolf would promote recreational use of a drug classified as a Schedule I narcotic by the federal government,” GOP House leaders said in a statement.

Republican lawmakers went on to state that Pennsylvania is in the midst of an opioid epidemic and that “easing regulations on illegal drugs” would be the wrong move as “thousands of Pennsylvanians are battling drug addiction.”

Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana in 2016 via a bill whose primary sponsor was disgraced former Republican Senator Mike Folmer, recently arrested on charges of possession of child pornography.

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1 thought on “Pennsylvania governor, attorney general signal support for recreational marijuana”

  1. Speaking of disappointment, how much money in campaign contributions are you representatives taking from pharmaceutical companies? To make the statement, it is evident that you are oblivious to the well documented health benefits of cannabis (i.e.; brain injuries, PTSD, chronic pain, and much more).
    “We are disappointed and frustrated Gov. Wolf would promote recreational use of a drug classified as a Schedule I narcotic by the federal government,” GOP House leaders said in a statement.
    As for the Schedule I classification issue, you should also be communicating with your colleagues in Washington, D.C. to remedy this wrongful classification. Since cannabis has many beneficial health benefits it should have never been placed in this category.
    We also hear the argument “there hasn’t been enough testing conducted” yet there are volumes of test results that the FDA ignore because they were not conducted under the stringent criteria that only pharmaceutical companies can conduct testing under (and they have no interest in producing honest test results because it will cost their industry billions of dollars. Which should also make you wonder who crafted the test guidelines, the US government or the pharmaceutical industry).
    At least this governor and attorney general are being honest when they say they are proposing a change that the people of their state want. Which, by the way, is whom all elected officials are supposed to be representatives of.

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