Wolf pushes for legal cannabis to boost pandemic-weakened economy; Republicans say it’s too broad

Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman
Photo credit The Office of Governor Tom Wolf via Flickr
By KYW Newsradio 1060
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Gov. Tom Wolf is once again making a push for the legalization of recreational marijuana. 

“Now more than ever — especially right in the middle of this pandemic — we have a desperate need for the economic boost that the legalization of cannabis could provide,” Wolf said.

He first proposed the legalization a year ago, and since then, “nothing’s happened.”

“I think the prohibition on recreational marijuana has proven to be pretty ineffective,” he said. “I don’t see it as a moral issue. I see it as a very practical issue.”

Lt. Gov. John Fetterman said legal cannabis would create more jobs and establish many other benefits with few legislative issues.

“To our social justice concerns on the uneven enforcement, as well as to our farmers, I pitch to our red counties, our Republican-led counties: Our farmers need a cash crop,” he said. “Name one other policy decision that could have so much immediate impact and so much ambiguous benefit.”

However, Republicans in the state Legislature argue Wolf is more interested in legislating by press conference than by negotiation. 

Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman said it’s unlikely to see movement on recreational marijuana this fall. He believes Wolf is channeling Winston Churchill’s “never let a good crisis go to waste” line. 

He said they need to hear specifics on what Corman says are broad concepts — like who would regulate it, where it would be sold, and how it would be enforced.