Published On: Thu, Sep 26th, 2019

Pennsylvania governor backs legalizing recreational marijuana use

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf announced Wednesday that he supports legalizing recreational marijuana, and called on the Republican-controlled Legislature to decriminalize small amounts of marijuana and authorize expungement of past convictions of nonviolent and small marijuana-related crimes.

“We now know the majority of Pennsylvanians are in favor of legalization, and that includes me,” Gov. Wolf said. “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,”

Wolf and Lt. Governor John Fetterman highlighted at a press conference key findings of a final report from the Lt. Gov’s statewide recreational marijuana tour, and proposed next steps informed by input from thousands of Pennsylvanians who attended a listening session or submitted input via an online form.

“The Lt. Gov. 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.”

“We’ve heard you, and this announcement today is our earnest effort to bring about the changes you’ve told us you want,” Fetterman said.

Gov. Wolf and Lt. Gov. Fetterman called for three actions:

1. Asking the legislature to get a bill to the governor’s desk that decriminalizes non-violent and small cannabis-related offenses.
2. Seeking a path to restorative justice through the expungement of past convictions of non-violent and small cannabis-related crimes.
3. Calling on the General Assembly to seriously debate and consider the legalization of adult-use, recreational marijuana.

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