Gov. Tom Wolf said he now supports marijuana legalization for adult recreational use and is calling on the General Assembly to “seriously debate and consider” it.
“We now know the majority of Pennsylvanians are in favor of legalization, and that includes me,” Wolf said. “I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together, especially the criminal justice reforms I am proposing today, which will have an immediately positive influence on thousands of families across Pennsylvania.”
Wolf made the announcement on Wednesday afternoon while detailing the results of Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s statewide marijuana listening tour. Wolf thanked Fetterman for “conducting this important research” and called for the following three actions in addition to the release of the report, according to a release.
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.
In December 2018, Wolf made headlines when he shared shared during a Twitter Q&A that he thinks it’s time to “take a serious and honest look at recreational marijuana.” That was the first time that Wolf embraced the discussion of fulling legalizing marijuana in the state, until studying the experiences of other states that have legalized it.
Shortly after Wolf said it was time to take a “serious and honest look at recreational marijuana” state Sen. Majority Leader Jake Corman (R-Centre) called recreational marijuana legalization “reckless and irresponsible” and vowed to do everything in his power to prevent it from happening.
A spokesperson from Corman’s office told PoliticsPA Wednesday afternoon that they are remaining focused on the medical marijuana program in the state.
“Our focus has been and will continue to be on the health of the medical marijuana program in the state and the law we put in place to help chronic ailments,” said Jennifer Kocher, Communications Director for Senate Majority Leader Corman. “At this time, we are not convinced that legalizing marijuana will not have a negative impact on that.”
In 2016, Wolf signed Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana law, which passed with bipartisan support. While Wolf ran for Governor in 2014, he supported decriminalizing possession of small amounts according to the AP. In August 2018, Wolf said in an interview with KDKA that he believed that Pennsylvanians weren’t “ready” for the legalization of marijuana.