Wolf Says PA Not “Ready” for Recreational Pot. PA Inhales, Disagrees.
Based on their reactions online, a whole lot of Pennsylvanians find the governor’s stance half-baked.
Gov. Tom Wolf made it clear in a radio interview this week where he comes down on the issue of legalizing marijuana for recreational use: Pennsylvania is “not ready for it.”
“There are, what, six states that have legalized recreational marijuana in the United States,” Wolf said in an interview with KDKA 1020 in Pittsburgh. “I don’t think the citizens of Pennsylvania are ready for it, and so the answer I would say is no.”
There was no explanation in the recorded segment online, only a reminder that we just gave dry leaf the green light for medicinal use. Slow your roll, guys.
Many Pennsylvanians, for what it’s worth, find Wolf’s stance to be a little … half-baked.
Luckily no one in Pennsylvania has tried using marijuana recreationally. We’re not ready, good thing it’s illegal!
— Bill Nagorski (@BNagorski) August 9, 2018
Why don’t you let the citizens of Pa. who pay your salary decide that for themselves, I’m an adult and can make those decisions for myself thank you very much.
— Will Wlodarczyk (@woody71956) August 8, 2018
According to a 2017 Franklin And Marshall poll, 59 percent of Pennsylvanians think marijuana should be legalized recreationally. 31 percent of respondents don’t, and 9 percent said “I don’t know” or “What was the question again?”
The York County businessman said almost the exact same thing last year: “I don’t think Pennsylvania is ready for it,” Wolf told NBC10 in March 2017. “I think that’s important. This is a democracy and you can’t move ahead of the electorate.”
That’s right, Gov. Wolf. But you probably shouldn’t move behind them either.
Um, in 2017, 59 percent of Pennsylvanians said they are ready. I only imagine that number is higher now. https://t.co/UliIMov4Lv
— Ryan Deto (@RyanDeto) August 8, 2018
The state’s auditor general, Eugene DePasquale, has on numerous occasions extolled the financial windfall recreational marijuana could mean for Pennsylvania.
“An overwhelming majority of Americans now favor marijuana legalization, and I would hate to see Pennsylvania lose out on a revenue stream and the social benefits that would be provided by moving away from the ‘reefer madness’ mindset,” DePasquale said earlier this year at a legalization rally sponsored by NORML, the ACLU-PA and the Keystone Cannabis Coalition.
DePasquale said a conservative estimate predicts some $200 million in additional tax revenue would follow legalization, as well as an estimated annual reduction of 20,000 marijuana arrest in the state, saving police departments time and resources. Legalization would bring a whole industry worth of new jobs, the auditor general said.
“This is probably the most significant issue I have seen where the public and the voters are so far ahead of the politicians,” he said. “Legalization of marijuana in Pennsylvania is going to happen, but we must hold our elected officials accountable.”
Medical marijuana was signed into law in Pennsylvania in 2016 allowing oils, tinctures and the like for those with a prescription. And just recently, dry leaf, or regular old pot, became available for patients.
A recent study out of Drexel University’s Dornsife School of Public Health found that youth in Pennsylvania are more accepting of marijuana use than ever, but that their lax attitude towards the drug hasn’t resulted in increased use.
“This is important because many people fear that legalizing marijuana will lead to greater use and potential abuse,” said Philip Massey, an assistant professor who lead the report.
John Fetterman, the lieutenant governor candidate on the Democratic ticket in November, was asked on Twitter to “put a bug” in his running mate’s ear. He responded simply: