HARRISBURG, Pa. (WYTV) – Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman are calling on the legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.
Wolf said legalizing adult-use cannabis would bring in revenue to help the state’s economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
He also said legalization would create more outlets for restorative justice programs in Pennsylvania.
“Now more than ever, we see a desperate need for the economic boost cannabis legalization can provide. So today I am proposing we legalize adult-use cannabis here in Pennsylvania with a portion of the revenue going toward existing small business grants,” Gov. Wolf said. “Half of these grants would be earmarked for historically disadvantaged businesses, many of which have had difficulties attaining other assistance because of systemic issues.”
Wolf said the other half would go toward restorative justice programs that give priority to repairing damages done to crime victims and communities affected by cannabis criminalization.
Fetterman also spoke out about the need for action.
“It has been nearly a year since Governor Wolf and I urged the legislature to act on immediate decriminalization and start the discussion about legalization,” Fetterman said. “Now more than ever, we must stop prosecuting people for doing something that most Pennsylvanians don’t even think should be illegal.”
There are 11 states, plus D.C., with legalized recreational marijuana.
“Some states that have legalized adult-use cannabis have received millions in additional revenue,” Gov. Wolf said. “In Washington state, adult-use cannabis brought in $319 million in tax revenue in 2018. In Colorado, that figure topped $266 million, and provided the city of Aurora with $900,000 to open a space for people experiencing homelessness. And these figures don’t count the secondary economic benefits of new businesses opening.”
Last week, Wolf took to Twitter to announce his support for recreational marijuana in the state.
Wolf first called for the legislature to legalize recreational marijuana in September of 2019 after Fetterman reported that the majority of Pennsylvanians were in favor of legalizing it.
Nothing has moved forward in the legislature since that report was released.