Pennsylvania moves closer to recreational marijuana legalization



Pennsylvania Governor, Tom Wolf.

Jess Barnett, Staff Writer

The state of Pennsylvania may be one step closer to the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana.
In January of this year, Governor Tom Wolf announced he would be holding conferences throughout Pennsylvania where residents could voice their opinions on the legalization of recreational cannabis; there are currently 11 states that have legalized recreational use.
This past Saturday, Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman presented their findings from their statewide cannabis listening tour, according to WNEP. “Among the many who voice their opinions, the majority supported legalization,’’ Wolf says.
In addition to running these conferences, forums were available for people to fill out on the Governor’s website to state whether they supported the recreational use of marijuana or opposed it.
Wolf says that “we know the majority of Pennsylvanians are in favor of legalization, and that includes me. I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together, especially the criminal justice,” according to WNEP.
The results from the listening tour state that 65%-70% of Pennsylvania residents approve of recreational legalization. There was also a large support for the decriminalization of cannabis and for taking away all non-violent and small cannabis related offenses.
Many residents agreed on removing the current classification of cannabis as a “Schedule I drug.” This classification groups cannabis with deadly drugs like heroin.
The report also revealed those who supported legalization of recreational marijuana could see the economic potential within the passing of this law: “The state would save money on prosecution and incarceration of cannabis-related offense. Residents who commented said regulated sales could create jobs. They specified that income generated should be used for infrastructure, education, and property tax relief.”
The results additionally show that those who did not support the legalization showed concern with people driving under the influence and that cannabis is a “gateway” drug. Another concern was the potential appeal that gummy-like edibles would have on children.