HARRISBURG, Pa.- Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf seems open to the idea of legalizing recreational cannabis sales in Pennsylvania.
Gov. Wolf is seeking a “conversation” with voters statewide to gauge interest and to receive feedback about the possibility of permitting adult-use cannabis. Lt. Gov. Fetterman will hold a series of public meetings and will also accept comments online in each of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties this year.
“It’s about starting the conversation for legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania,” Fetterman told The Associated Press.
Fetterman is already a proponent of legalization and has expressed concern with the disproportionate penalties non-whites face when it comes to low-level possession charges. Despite state Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman recently digging up the classic “gateway drug” theory, Fetterman believes the research tells a different story and is interested in finding out if residents agree with him.
“We want to get everyone’s views, and there are differing opinions on things and we want to reach out and develop some kind of a consensus on where we can go as a state,” Fetterman said.
The conversation Fetterman plans to have may turn into preaching to the choir. A poll conducted last year found that almost 60 percent of Pennsylvania residents support legalizing recreational sales.
Gov. Wolf has not always been open to the idea of legalizing adult-use cannabis. However, he seems to notice the shifting political landscape on cannabis.
“Gov. Wolf’s evolution on this issue is timely and appropriate,” Morgan Fox, Media Relations Director for NCIA, a national cannabis trade association, told mg.
Pennsylvania legalized medicinal cannabis use in 2016 when Gov. Wolf signed SB 3. Dispensaries are now up and running with a new shop having just opened in Philadelphia this week. Most states in the northeast now have some form of legalized cannabis, but adult-use sales are now gaining traction in both New York and New Jersey inching closer to recreational sales.
“With so many states near Pennsylvania seriously considering how to make cannabis legal for adults, it would be a disservice to his constituents not to start looking at this issue as soon as possible,” Fox said. “We commend him for regarding this issue seriously and taking steps towards sensible cannabis policy.”