Gov. Wolf Wants to Decriminalize Marijuana

“There are a lot of reasons to look at decriminalization."

Good news for N.A. Poe: Gov. Tom Wolf says he is in favor of decriminalizing pot.

“I believe, for a number of reasons, that we ought to decriminalize marijuana use,” Wolf told Pittsburgh TV station WPXI. “I think our prisons are over-crowded as a result of people going to jail for reasons that, you know, we break up families for reasons that we shouldn’t.”

He added: “We destroy lives and we make it hard to find employment. So often right now possession of a small amount is a felony and an employer looks at that and dismisses (the person) automatically.”

Decriminalizing pot doesn’t seem to be on the table for state action — though Jim Kenney, the new Democratic nominee for Philly mayor, last year led a successful decriminalization effort at the city level. This year, the Pennsylvania Senate passed a bill to make medical marijuana legal, but like last year the bill seems to be hung up in the House.

“The legalization of medical marijuana — I think we ought to allow doctors to prescribe. They’re the experts,” Wolf told WPXI. “We ought to allow them to prescribe the treatments that they feel are best fitted to the challenges facing the person.”

Wolf’s stance isn’t entirely unexpected. When he took office earlier this year, he appointed John Hanger — a former gubernatorial rival who ran on a pro-pot campaign — as his secretary of policy and planning. It may take awhile, but pot decriminalization is now the mainstream stance.