The governor of Pennsylvania says marijuana legalization is a priority as he begins annual budget negotiations with lawmakers—even though his formal spending request doesn’t seem to contain any legislative language to actually accomplish the cannabis policy change.
Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has repeatedly called for legalization and pressured the Republican-controlled legislature to pursue the reform. He continued that advocacy on Wednesday, saying in his budget speech that there’s “a lot more in the budget, including a number of things that I know have bipartisan support.” He listed cannabis legalization as one of those items.
Watch the governor discuss marijuana legalization and his budget plan below:
In a supplementary legislative plan for 2021, the governor said that “Pennsylvania has built a successful medical marijuana program through bipartisan work,” and now “it’s time to take the next step and legalize recreational marijuana in the commonwealth with an emphasis on helping businesses and restorative justice.”
On top of ending prohibition, Wolf said that reform legislation will “support historically disadvantaged small businesses through grant funding and provide them the assistance they need to build back from the economic crisis and strengthen our economy.”
“Additionally, a portion of the revenue will support restorative justice programs to help the individuals and communities that have been adversely harmed by the criminalization of marijuana,” he said. “Combined, these initiatives will serve as a step forward in reversing the decades of injustices, economic harm and trauma caused by marijuana criminalization, particularly on minority communities.”
My plan for 2021 also includes:
💵 Increasing the minimum wage
💼 Building a stronger workforce
⚖️ Reforming the criminal justice system
🏚 Investing in public infrastructure
📄 Reducing business taxes and closing the Delaware Loophole
🍃 Legalizing adult-use marijuana
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) February 3, 2021
“As our neighbors move toward legalizing recreational