Wolf Continues Push for Legalization of Adult-Use Cannabis During Stop in Tobyhanna

Jason Barsky
October 13, 2020 - 3:54 pm
WILK News Room

Credit: Commonwealth Media Services

Governor Tom Wolf’s push for the legalization of adult-use cannabis in Pennsylvania was once again in the spotlight during a Tuesday morning stop in Tobyhanna. 

WILK News Room
Credit: Commonwealth Media Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Governor Tom Wolf speaks to the press. Governor Tom Wolf visited The Mountain Center in Tobyhanna, Monroe County today to talk about the economic growth potential and restorative justice benefits of legalizing adult-use cannabis, something the state General Assembly has not yet done despite multiple requests from the governor and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman to take up legislation this fall. Tobyhanna, PA October 13, 2020

"This year, I again went to the General Assembly and asked them to make legalizing adult-use cannabis a priority for the fall as we work to find ways to overcome the economic hardships of the COVID-19 pandemic," Gov. Wolf said. "To date, there has been no movement to advance legislation. So, I'm here today to ask again, and to focus on two particular benefits of legalization - potential economic growth and much-needed restorative justice."

Governor Wolf believes that legalizing adult-use cannabis could lead Pennsylvanians to see economic growth similar to the growth that occurred following the end of the Commonwealth’s prohibition on the hemp industry in 2018.

“Much of our knowledge about how to grow, process and use hemp was lost after industrial hemp was regulated and banned along with marijuana in the 1930s,” Wolf said. “And Pennsylvania lost the benefits of an industry with a long history of providing jobs and resources here in the commonwealth. When hemp and marijuana were banned, we didn’t just lose jobs, we lost decades of research opportunities, innovation and economic growth.”

WILK News Room
Credit: Commonwealth Media Services

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Titus White, hemp farmer showing Governor Tom Wolf a cutting of industrial hemp. Governor Tom Wolf visited The Mountain Center in Tobyhanna, Monroe County today to talk about the economic growth potential and restorative justice benefits of legalizing adult-use cannabis, something the state General Assembly has not yet done despite multiple requests from the governor and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman to take up legislation this fall. Tobyhanna, PA October 13, 2020

Pennsylvania hemp farmer Eric Titus White was on hand to show his support for the Governor’s plan.

“The cannabis plant is capable of stimulating our economy, healing our soil, and bringing the focus back to natural medicine and natural farming,” White said. 

NEPA State Senator John Blake offered his support for adult-use cannabis legalization.

“I appreciate the work of the Governor and the Lt. Governor to gauge public support for the legalization of adult use cannabis and also to weigh the potential economic benefit of legalization in PA,” Blake said. “Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program has proven to be among the best in the nation and I believe strongly that many of the protocols, regimens and controls could be replicated to ensure positive economic benefit and proper regulation of adult-use cannabis in our Commonwealth.”

Pennsylvania Lt. Governor John Fetterman, toured the state in 2019, holding listening sessions where the pros and cons about the potential legalization of recreational marijuana were discussed.  During Tuesday morning’s Tobyhanna stop, the Lt. Gov. focused on the benefits of legalization from a decriminalization perspective.

"Every year in Pennsylvania, another 20,000 people get cannabis-related criminal charges that can keep them from getting the jobs and housing they want," said Lt. Gov. Fetterman. "It's time we stop ruining people's futures over something that's already legal in several states and something that most Pennsylvanians don't even think should be illegal."

Governor Wolf supported Fetterman’s words, reminding constituents about a bill he signed into law back in 2018.

“We are taking steps to reverse the injustices caused by marijuana criminalization,” Gov. Wolf said. “In 2018, I signed the Clean Slate bill, which allows for the sealing of records for certain low-level offenses if a person has been free from convictions for ten years. That law can be applied to certain marijuana-related offenses, and the Board of Pardons has expedited pardons for low-level marijuana offenses. But there is much more that needs to be done to reverse decades of injustice. And we need to start by decriminalizing cannabis and legalizing it for adult use.”

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