With the tour hitting its halfway mark, John Fetterman spoke with the Eagle about what he has learned, what has surprised him and what will happen next.
Reading, PA —
The time has finally come.
Berks County residents will have an opportunity to make their voices heard next week on the possibility of legalizing recreational marijuana when the lieutenant governor brings his statewide listening tour to the Red Knight Accelerated Academy in Reading.
John Fetterman, a Democrat who has been outspoken about his support for marijuana legalization, embarked on a 67-county listening tour in February to document the opinions of Pennsylvanians as state officials examine the issue.
Pennsylvania is one of 33 states that allow marijuana to be used for medical reasons. Ten states have legalized recreational use of the drug — Alaska, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont and Washington.
But Fetterman made it clear that his personal position on the issue is irrelevant on the tour.
He stressed that each stop concludes with a public vote on the issue. That way, at the end of the tour, he’ll be able to show how much support there was in each county he visited. He also plans to produce and post a written report online summarizing what he learned.
The stop in Reading, Fetterman said, will mark the halfway point of his fact-finding mission. In light of that, the Eagle asked him a few questions in a recent phone interview about what he has learned along the way, what has surprised him and what will happen next.
Who came up with the idea to launch a listening tour?
Gov. Tom Wolf felt that it was time we start having a conversation about this very important public policy issue and it went from there. And that’s really what this