Reader Poll: Should PA Legalize Recreational Marijuana?

The conversation of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania once again took center stage last week after Lt. Gov John Fetterman announced he would be leading a statewide “listening tour” on the topic.

Just months before the election, Gov. Tom Wolf said in a KDKA interview that he believed Pennsylvanians weren’t “ready” for the legalization of marijuana. Wolf turned some heads after responding in a Twitter Q&A that the time had come for Pennsylvania to give recreational marijuana an “honest and serious look.” Fetterman has advocated for recreational marijuana legalization dating back to his run in the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate in 2016.

Republican leaders like Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre) have held steady in their opposition to the idea, even stating it as “reckless and irresponsible.”

Should Pennsylvania legalize recreational marijuana?

Reader Poll: Should PA Legalize Recreational Marijuana?


  • Yes (90%)
  • No (10%)

Total Voters: 1,495

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January 31st, 2019 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Poll, Top Stories | 48 Comments

48 thoughts on “Reader Poll: Should PA Legalize Recreational Marijuana?”

  1. Richard Sauerwine says:

    My vote for legalization of recreational Marijuana is NO

  2. Josh says:

    Legalize it for our nation’s sake. We need revenue for the budget. It will help with opioid crisis and help to curb the rampant statewide use of illicit drugs such as meth and dope. A lot of people who are turned on to hard drugs are done so by the illegal drug dealers they meet while looking for pot. The cartels want to make more money with the addictive more expensive drugs. If people have a safer place to get the pot. Then they wouldn’t go to the streets and would be less likely to associate with the scum selling the drugs that are actually killing people and destroying families.

  3. JimZee says:

    If this was never made illegal for extremely inappropriate reasons (Americans creating fear about Mexican immigrants), people wouldn’t give this a second thought. Nobody would be blaming it for the demise of society, etc.
    Lets legalize in PA for recreational and become yet another state to force the Feds hand. The only part of this that should need a script is if a child has a medical issue and a parent would like to acquire for the minors use.
    I don’t even care if I personally use any of the available products- it just shouldn’t be illegal in any way.
    Legalize fully then tax. Studies are in. It pushes out the cartels power and minor use is decreased bc they have limited ways to acquire it. The taxation is enormous for a state and people are happy to pay this tax!
    You’re not going to suddenly have some massive increase in dui’s or people Suddenly coming in to work “high.”
    If people do that, its no different than alcohol or opiates- charge a dui or fire them. Common sense people.

  4. John Padora says:

    Cannabis legalization pros far outweigh the cons.
    In states which have legalized we see a decrease in juvenile access to the drug – which is always a major concern for lawmakers. Opioid abuse rates fall significantly. Minorities use cannabis at the same rate as everyone else yet according to the ACLU they are 3.73 times more likely to be arrested.
    We can regulate and tax a plant which is readily available in every urban and suburban corner of the commonweslth via black market- using tax revenue to fund schools, infrastructure etc;.
    Marijuana is safe , we know despite lack of extensive research due to schedule I status. It’s impossible to overdose , and the impairment rate is much less than that of alcohol .It’s time to treat the causal, recreational adult use of marijuana as a social norm rather than a crime & reap the benefits of economic stimulation, social justice reform that will propel the commonwealth into the future.

  5. Luke says:

    Prohibition doesn’t work and it never will, didn’t work for alcohol. Prohibition only creates a black market. Full legalization is the only way. Bottom line is anybody that wants to do it is already doing it weather it’s legal or not. Fully legalize and reschedule the plant federally. This way cannabis and the components it’s made up of can be scientifically studied. Also a huge savings on law enforcement and our prison systems. Tax dollars wasted on non violent offenders locked up that could be contributing to our society.

  6. Austin says:

    I’m all for medical marijuana but when it becomes legal like alcohol it makes it look like alcohol and therefore it no longer looks like a medical benefit. Which it has and always will be good for medical benefits. It’s already frowned upon enough and doesn’t need to be compared to alcohol. Keep it legal for medical but add that you can do it anywhere for medical reasons. Also add more health conditions.

  7. Tom says:

    I am 72 years old and have never used marijuana. However I am for legalization. Our state should tax it and use the proceeds for education.

  8. Robin says:

    The war on drugs has failed and has resulted in our prison population increasing 500%. 25% of the world’s prison populaton is in the US. Drug addiction is a medical problem, not a criminal one. We cannot incarcerate our way out of the issue. Locking people us had done nothing to fix the problem and is very costly. Legalization makes sense.

  9. James says:

    If the Democratic Party wants to take back control of PA then they need to start giving back to the people and start listening. Take the laws from Colorado and copy it and make it say PA’s legalization status on the heading.

  10. Tony Salvatore says:

    I’m against legalizing recreational marijuana until and unless we have more evidence from sources other than users and advocates that it is not harmful and has any beneficial effects. This step would have far greater consequences than legalization of medical use of cannabis which proceeded with very little evidence that has any benefits. PA should also carefully consider the experiences of CA, CO, and other states before acting. Lastly let’s not forget how well recreational use of alcohol is working out.

    1. Dick Turpin says:

      Two totally different drugs with vastly different side effects. Comparing marijuana with alcohol is like comparing a glock with a fork.

    2. Kevan says:

      I think legalized should take place and pass the state and people would benefit off of it i suffer from chronic pain and it helps me but the whole truth about marijuana is that the money they get from it could be used for schools to fixs roads add new dispenser and have money to help build the wall so yes i stand all forward with the legalization and say free the plant and let the lawmakers focus on other drugs that are actually hurting people there has never been anyone who every die or got hurt using weed so there is nothing wrong with it the time has come and the lawmakers of pa has to move forward with thw legalization because of all the benefits it will bring in

    3. Mike W says:

      What benefits does alcohol have, zero… Its legal, see my point.

      1. Lisa says:

        That is it exactly. I have a son with epilepsy and cbd alone has lowered my blood pressure, my cholestrol, and my blood sugar. Alcohol would only make most of that worse.

    4. Marty Robinson says:

      Tony I understand where you’re coming from but as it stands on the scheldule act. Its a schedule 1 drug, which in a nutshell means the only people that can test the drug is the government. And who in their right mind is going to trust their findings? Especially since when they tested back in 40’s. 1 scientist reported that just 2 hits off a marijuana cigarette turned him into a bat. And I wish I was making that up. But I’m not. We have far more harmful legal things we put into our bodies almost everyday. But I don’t see anyone asking ppl to look at the harmful side effects of those things. I mean how did opiates begin there reign on the American population? How did those drugs past people like you that are suspicious of everything?

    5. Mike Iredale says:

      So are you in favor of making consumption of alcohol illegal then? Because I can only take a “keep it illegal unless we can prove it’s harmless or beneficial” seriously if it comes from someone who thinks all recreational drugs should be illegal. Alcohol only has adverse health effects, and so do tobacco products, yet they are perfectly legal because we recognize that people should be allowed to make their own decisions.

  11. PS Grad says:

    There is a significant social cost to recreational cannabis as well, and it is still a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level. The ‘science’ is self serving on both sides–which is why far more vetting must be done to ensure that this is safe, and understand the consequences for PA. The LG’s ‘listening tour’ is self serving and one sided. We know the outcome it will generate . . . 85% or so support for legalizing recreational use in PA. The issue is too serious, and the potential ramifications too significant, to use Pennsylvanian’s as unwitting pawns in what should be a science and revenue driven policy debate.

    1. Kevin says:

      PS Grad, while I respect your opinion, Cannabis does not deserve Schedule 1 status. The World Health Organization just recently came out with a report saying they were wrong on cannabis for decades and recommend re-scheduling. If Fetterman’s tour, however, isn’t going to be one sided. It’s very generous of him to go to all 67 counties to listen to what the people themselves have to say about this issue. Fetterman himself said the tour wasn’t about him, and it was about gathering public opinion.

  12. Dan says:

    There are consequences to the legalization that are not being considered. Recreational users of marijuana will NOT be able to work in the following industries: electric and gas utility, trucking, pharma and medical, mining, chemical, natural gas, and likely others where complex machinery or high pressure steam, water or high voltage electricity is used. Would you trust your safety to a co-worker who may be under the influence of alcohol or marijuana? The employers insurance carrier will force a no drug policy or DOT will in the case of having a CDL license. Therefore users will be consigned to low-paying retail or under the table jobs without benefits. Why do the politicians think this is a good idea to prevent people from getting good jobs?

    1. James says:

      The truth is all of those major professions use canibis, and after the first drug test people go right back to smoking canibis. I would trust someone over the influence of canibis vs alcohol any day. The main reason companies don’t drug test after they get in is because of how good that worker is and they would loose money training someone all over again.it is just a weak reason to go justifying a police officers arrest status. If they catch one murder it counts as 1 if they catch one pot head it counts as one. There is no motivation on going after real criminals

      1. Dan says:

        Workers who test positive for alcohol or canibis are terminated or in some rare cases put on a recovery plan. Companies don’t arrest them, just dismiss them. Most unions won’t put up with workers who test positive more than once. If I am working on a gas line I don’t want my coworker to be under the influence of anything stronger than coffee.

        1. Timothy Leary says:

          Clearly, there is a broad brush of society of pot smokers who are using it for pleasure. If someone is in a line of work that demands no use of pot, then that is the law and it must be obeyed. To punish everyone in society and say they can’t smoke pot because certain professions don’t allow for it’s use makes no sense.

      2. Patric says:

        I’m a master electrician in 2 states i own an electric company and I smoke weed daily. Most every businessman I know smokes weed, no shit. Coffee IS my strongest drug at work but when the workdays done instead of drinking a pint or a case I smoke weed.

        1. Kevin says:

          I agree with you 100% Patric,I smoke weed daily also,have smoked weed over 40 years,I am a productive member of society who’s only enjoyment is marijauana,I am hurting no one and enjoying something in the privacy of my own home.I neither dink,smoke cigs,or abuse any type of prescription medicine!!

  13. Harold Stoots says:

    If recreational cannabis is made legal in the state we can gollow many other states. When made legal allow recreational growing as well as processing with proper permits so we could be allowed to take product to a dispensery to help with Pennsylvania Medical Cannabis shortagr along with helping the economy.

  14. Dana Togans says:

    Marijuana is good for you

  15. Leah says:

    I believe wholeheartedly in the legalization and decriminalization of recreational use of marijuana. It is a LONG time coming, and would benefit the user, and state in so many ways. It is a plant with so many mental and physical benefots, and I want nothing more than my state officials to come to that realization. One of my best froends has trouble With his eyes moving uncontrollably, and when he uses marijuana, his eyes literally CEASE the uncontrolled movement, and he is able to function normally. Also, I suffer from PTSD, and and it has helped me more than I can ever explain. I alsonsee uses for marijuana in folks recovering from opiate abuse. Please reconsider, lawmakers of my beautiful state!

    1. Cynthia says:

      I also have a PTSD diagnosis and medical marijuana has helped tremendously.My pcp gave several prescriptions for antidepressants and the side effects are horrible,not so with Cannabis .It is medicine and the best choice for many ailments.

  16. Juston Morgan says:

    There is a lot of benefits the state could use part of the funds or donate part of the funds back to homeless veterans and allow them get housing and help them get jobs in the medical cannabis fields I know some veteran’s that don’t get any benefits at all it’s crazy I can show you all many ways to help the state and our veteran’s and many others so many different benefits the state can do with the legalization. How ever we have one big issue. You need to get with Ted Daniels with MCD’S and come up with a class or I would be willing to teach it to law enforcement agencies about what we can have and can’t have and do I have had and seen many issues with the police harassing medical marijuana patience because they don’t know what we are allow to do and use and what we can make. And if we have new equipment not open not used it can’t be seized.

  17. Juston Morgan says:

    Please come meet with us. I suffer from multiple medical conditions from seizures to ptsd chronic pain insomnia sudden impulse control disorder anxiety just to name a few of my medical conditions if it wasnt for cannabis i could not function properly. You must really truly look at what not only what we are saying bit the proff of others in other states as well. Children suffering from 2700 seizures a month to zero from cannabis there is rear from of seizures where kids don’t live past the age of two I know a few cases but habe a meeting with some of us I will gladly provide a space and medical patients and veteran’s to you all to meet and talk to.

  18. Kevin says:

    The gateway drug theory is a myth abandoned by the DEA in 2017. Anyone saying this is a dangerous narcotic has been mislead. There has never been a recorded death from direct use of cannabis in history. Now is the time to take back our planet from the corrupt “leaders” and the corrupt pharmaceutical industry. I fully support HB50. I am still in awe that this is still up for debate in Pennsylvania. Our civil liberties are being violated with the current prohibition model and we need to take back our freedom.

    1. Susan says:

      I support decriminalization of small amounts but I do not support wholesale laws to allow legalization willy-nilly. Many of the people commenting apparently feel a need to have the pot for medical conditions. Let doctors decide, not big pharma.

      1. James says:

        Big farma owns the doctors. Everyone has a boss.

      2. Kevin says:

        Susan, I respect your opinion, but without full legalization, the black market will thrive and remain. We can’t keep supporting our local drug dealers that don’t check identification, but rather get the cannabis behind a counter where they do check ID. Regulating makes sense. I also do oppose “Big Marijuana” and large corporations that want to profit heavily, but am for local craft cannabis growers that would support a local economy and the small businesses.

        Cheers.

  19. ERIK M ASHER says:

    It is beyond time for this to happen here in PA. I say if our legislators vote against #HB50 or do not achieve full legalization prior to NY or NJ, we need to challenge all of them in their next cycle.
    Make them understand that they either execute the will of the great majority of voters or it will cost them their seats next cycle.
    What they feel or want want is not a consideration.
    Time to make #HB50 happen now.

    1. Juston Morgan says:

      Yes agree. And allow us medical marijuana patients grow up to 12 plants and allow use do donate or give it to medical marijuana patients who can’t afford the costs

  20. Timothy Leary says:

    I have had occasions in recent years filling out new patient forms. Over and over the question was–do you use recreational drugs? Basically, the question was assuming large elements of our society smoke pot for the pleasure of it. So, if use of marijuana is so widespread that it is an automatic question on a new patient form, we are kidding ourselves if we think we can continue to get away from legalization. NJ is well on its way to approval. NY is starting to move toward legalization. Since it’s only a matter of time before neighboring states approve, we need to look toward enacting responsible legislation that provides leadership on this issue.

  21. Brandon g says:

    Still think it needs more research before that happens

    1. Nicm says:

      You need to just read the research. There are very few things on this planet that have been more extensively researched thqn cannabis. It’s not the fault of cannabis that you haven’t taken the time to educate yourself.

    2. Kevin says:

      The research is out there. Go educate yourself and stop buying the reefer madness disinformation campaign. Teach yourself, don’t let others mislead you.

  22. Mike Hrin says:

    It’s time Pennsylvania legalizes marijuana I mean come on already alcohol legal to prescribe opioids barbiturates all kinds of s*** but the one thing that could actually help people and it’s proven to help people is illegal it’s almost an insult to my intelligence to even have a conversation like this

  23. Kelly Sipling says:

    Cannabis saved my life. Its saving me from a lifetime of pain from artheritis right now and i feel like a new person to finally be pain free its changed my life for the better. I used to walk with a cane but no more. My posture is even better.

  24. Donald Cone says:

    Not enough space to tell you what happened to me 4yrs ago this July, but 2 back surgeries within 45 days kicked my ass. I still have neuropathy in my left leg and both feet. Because of opioids I will never take anything stronger than an 800mg Ibrofin…if it wasn’t for smoking pot, I’d still be a mental & physical wreck…I also get some satisfaction from vaping THC, I like the Indaca…please pass this bill for the vast majority of PA Citizens who need relief…use Colorado as a blueprint!

  25. Joy Lyn Feliciano says:

    As a patient, when recreational is passed I would love and appreciate implementing an act for medical users to grow some of their own plants at home. This would possibly help with supply and demand when it does become recreational (medical users wouldnt be hurt but the sudden change and still receive the life saving medication they need) as well as stabilizing the medical program for patients.

  26. Henry Senatore says:

    Since it’s still a Class 1 drug the ability to do studies is stymied. The studies that have been reported give opposite views on the efficacy & the dangers, e.g., to still developing young brains, to psychological dependency, other negative physical & mental health issues. Gathering opinions is certainly not as valid as gathering scientific facts & making a reasonable, regulated decision but also pushing to get it removed from Class 1 status since there seems to be agreement that the classification was politically, not scientifically motivated. Show me the studies!

    1. Stephanie S says:

      If coffee was discovered today – it would be a class 1 substance ….

      -Other than preemies – no medical use
      – addictive
      – causes sense of euphoria

  27. David Diano says:

    What is the definition of “recreational marijuana”?

    How many grams/ounces?

    (obviously, medical marijuana is prescription from doctor)

    1. Walter Schwenk says:

      recreational cannabis is used to re-create a balanced and harmonious physical system; in other words, that which promotes health and well being, both actual and perceived.

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