As U.S. representatives were gathering in Congress to cast an historic vote for cannabis banking reform, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced their support for adult-use legalization in their state.
The press conference marked a turning point for a state that’s actively engaged a wide-ranging public policy conversation on cannabis over the past year. Fetterman traveled to every county in Pennsylvania this past spring, speaking directly with the 10,275 state residents who attended his speaking tour. Of those men and women, 68 percent favored legalization. (Of a broader response online, 82 percent of state residents told Fetterman and the governor’s administration that they favor legalization.)
Pennsylvania legalized medical cannabis in 2016, and sales began in February 2018. Lawmakers have introduced adult-use bills this year, though it’s not yet clear which one, if any, may pick up traction in the statehouse.
“We are calling for the General Assembly to seriously debate marijuana legalization,” Wolf said. “There are multiple bills introduced to advance that measure with support from many legislators … [who] agree with the many Pennsylvanians with making adult-use regulated marijuana legal. That includes me. I agree with that. I’m looking forward to seeing what we can accomplish together.”
Wolf and Fetterman elaborated on the criminal justice components in the debate. Fetterman’s speaking tour highlighted support for justice reform and an understanding that something needs to change in Pennsylvania.
“We’re seeking a path to restorative justice through the expungement of past convictions of non-violent and small cannabis-related crimes,” Wolf said.
Watch the video here: