Gov. Tom Wolf captured headlines statewide this week when he said during a Twitter Q&A that he thinks it’s time to “take a serious and honest look at recreation marijuana.”
More and more states are successfully implementing marijuana legalization, and we need to keep learning from their efforts. Any change would take legislation. But I think it is time for Pennsylvania to take a serious and honest look at recreational marijuana. https://t.co/LHOmYKzMyp
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) December 19, 2018
Previously, Wolf had never embraced the discussion of fulling legalizing marijuana in the state until studying the experiences of other states that have legalized it. He even said in a KDKA interview in August that he believed Pennsylvanians weren’t “ready” for the legalization of marijuana.
The comments from Wolf also drew sharp pushback from the Republican Majority Leader of the state Senate.
Sen. Jake Corman (R-Centre) said that legalizing marijuana for recreational use is “reckless and irresponsible” and vowed to do everything in his power to prevent it from happening.
“The governor’s new position on the issue of legalizing the drug for recreational use is reckless and irresponsible. Recreational marijuana is a mind-altering narcotic which will harm our youth as it is a depressant and a gateway drug to other illegal substances. Combine that with a lack of credible research on the societal costs and opposition from prosecutors, the medical community and law enforcement and you have the makings of a catastrophe,” Corman said in a statement. “This sends the wrong message to our youth. As long as I am leader, I will do everything in my power to prevent legalization of recreational marijuana.”
According to the AP, Wolf talked to reporters yesterday after he made his tweet went viral and called himself a “realist” on the topic.
“We can’t just duck our heads in to the sand and say things aren’t happening,” he said. “New York, New Jersey, they are neighboring states, they are making a decision. I want to follow them and see what they do.”
However, according to the Allentown Morning Call’s Steve Esack, it will “not be a key part of his second term.”
PA Gov. Tom Wolf says he is not making legalizing pot a key part of his second term. He is only keeping his eyes open to what NY and NJ are doing.
— Steve Esack (@sesack) December 20, 2018