Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf now supports recreational marijuana for adult use | News | Pittsburgh | Pittsburgh City Paper

Pa. Gov. Tom Wolf now supports recreational marijuana for adult use

click to enlarge Tom Wolf (left) with John Fetterman - PHOTO: COURTESY OF GOVERNOR'S OFFICE
Photo: courtesy of governor's office
Tom Wolf (left) with John Fetterman
In a press conference today, Gov. Tom Wolf (D-York) announced his support for Pennsylvania to legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana. Wolf joins other prominent Pennsylvania politicians, such as Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D-Braddock), Auditor General Eugene DePaquale (D-York), Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto, and Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, in their support

“We now know the majority of Pennsylvanians are in favor of legalization, and that includes me,” Wolf said at the press conference. “I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together, especially the criminal justice reforms I am proposing today, which will have an immediately positive influence on thousands of families across Pennsylvania."

Wolf indicated his support was encouraged by the work of Fetterman, who completed a listening tour of all 67 counties in Pennsylvania, where he discussed recreational marijuana policy and received input from residents.



According to a March poll from Franklin & Marshall College, 59 percent of Pennsylvanians support legalizing recreational marijuana.

A report created from Fetterman's tour compiled responses from those who attended and submitted comments. Allegheny County, with more than 4,000 responses, showed 90 percent support for recreational marijuana. Beaver, Butler, Washington, and Westmoreland counties all had support in the 80s.

“The Lieutenant Governor made good on his promise to visit all 67 counties to hear from Pennsylvanians about whether or not they support the legalization of adult-use recreational marijuana in the state,” Gov. Wolf said. “And among the many who voiced their opinions, the majority supported legalization.”
click to enlarge A stop on the statewide recreational marijuana legalization listening tour - PHOTO: COURTESY OF GOVERNOR'S OFFICE
Photo: courtesy of governor's office
A stop on the statewide recreational marijuana legalization listening tour
But any path to legalization this year would have to go through a state legislature that is controlled by Republicans.

Last July, after state Rep. Jake Wheatley (D-Hill District) introduced a recreational marijuana bill, state House Republican spokesperson Stephen Miskin said supporting legal marijuana could lead to intoxicated drivers and questioned the benefits of using the revenue legalization would raise.


“Legalizing marijuana? Why not legalize heroin, why not legalize cocaine?” Miskin said.

Pro-marijuana advocates skewered this interpretation. Patrick Nightingale of marijuana-advocacy group Pittsburgh NORML said Miskin was "scaremongering" and avoiding an "honest debate" about marijuana use, adding that none of the nine states with legal marijuana have legalized harder drugs.

Today, Pa. House GOP leadership released a statement saying "our caucus has no plans or interest in legalizing recreational marijuana."
In addition to now calling for the legislature to take up efforts to legalize recreational marijuana, Wolf is requesting bills to decriminalize non-violent and small cannabis-related offenses and expunge past convictions of non-violent and small cannabis-related crimes.

The governor's full marijuana report can be read here

Comments (4)

Add a comment

Add a Comment