Looking to build on Pennsylvania’s experience with hemp and medical marijuana, Gov. Tom Wolf in a visit Tuesday to Monroe County called on lawmakers to send him a bill legalizing adult-use recreational cannabis.
“So far I haven’t heard anything,” Wolf said Tuesday. “There’s been no movement to advance legislation. So once again, I’m back, and I’m here today to ask once again to focus on two particular benefits of legalization.”
During a visit to The Mountain Center in the Tobyhanna section of Coolbaugh Township, Wolf said sales of marijuana for adults to use recreationally offers potential economic benefits and a chance for social justice. Both have emerged in 2020 as critical issues, with the economic impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and a national reckoning over racial inequality enflamed by police violence against people of color.
“Now more than ever, Pennsylvania needs the jobs, we need the economic growth, we need the revenue and we need the restorative justice that the legalization of adult-use cannabis will provide,” the Democrat said.
Republicans in control of both the Pennsylvania House and Senate have refused to embrace legalizing marijuana, with the Pennsylvania House Republican Caucus stating Tuesday: “The Wolf Administration’s repeated call to legalize marijuana comes at a time when we are in the middle of an out-of-control opioid epidemic with an average of 13 Pennsylvanians dying each day from overdoses, equating to over 300 deaths monthly.
“In addition, the proposal for how to use funds from recreational marijuana does not go to fill the budgetary shortfall we are experiencing as a result of the effects of the COVID-19-related economic shutdown, but instead