Medical marijuana has been legal in Pennsylvania since 2016. Could recreational cannabis be next?
Dispensaries continue to pop up throughout the state as more people turn to medical marijuana for relief from anxiety, depression, insomnia, chronic pain and even cancer.
Pennsylvania’s Organic Remedies operates two marijuana dispensaries, one in Chambersburg and another in Enola. By the end of the year, the business hopes to open a third in York.
“We have a total of 8,000 patients,” said Mary Werdebaugh, its director of community outreach. “We had a Stage 4 ovarian cancer patient that (after medical marijuana) gained over 25 pounds back, and is still alive. Everyday that I’m there, I literally get the chills seeing these things. It’s just unbelievable.”
An apparent majority of Pennsylvania residents think now is the time to legalize recreational marijuana.
A March 2019 Franklin & Marshall College poll found that 59% of Pennsylvania voters support recreational marijuana.
That is up from the 22% of registered voters that supported legalizing recreational marijuana in May 2006, when the question was first asked by Franklin & Marshall College.
Currently, 33 states and Washington, D.C., have passed laws legalizing marijuana in some form.
The District of Columbia, along with 10 states — Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington — have legalized marijuana for recreational use.
It’s still unclear if Pennsylvania will follow.
The state’s Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, a Democrat, has been soliciting feedback from residents, on what they think of legalizing marijuana for recreational purposes.
In February, Fetterman — who supports recreational marijuana — kicked off a series of statewide listening tours. He