COOLBAUGH TOWNSHIP, MONROE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU-TV) — Governor Tom Wolf spoke in Monroe County on Tuesday, once again calling on the General Assembly to legalize recreational marijuana use in Pennsylvania.
“The majority of Pennsylvanians support legalizing cannabis for adult use,” said Wolf.
Just last month, Governor Wolf asked state lawmakers to make it a priority this fall, but says nothing has been done.
“So once again I’m back and I’m here today to ask once again to focus on two particular benefits of legalization,” said Wolf.
One of those benefits is economic growth, with potential of bringing billions of dollars in revenue to the state.
“It is clear that in these challenging economic times spurred by COVID-19 that Pennsylvania needs recurring sustainable income,” said Rep. Maureen Madden, 115th District.
Governor Wolf has proposed a big chunk of the revenue be given to small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19.
Wolf says another benefit of marijuana’s legalization in Pennsylvania is restorative justice.
“We need to start by decriminalizing cannabis,” said Wolf.
In 2018, Wolf signed the Clean Slate Bill allowing records of certain low-level offenders to be sealed if the person has been free from convictions for 10 years.
Wolf says legalizing cannabis offers the same potential for economic growth as the Farm Bill of 2018 did for hemp farming.
“The economic ability of hemp is there and the natural health of the medicine is also there, the same as in the cannabis business,” said Eric Titus White, local hemp farmer.
Though they look similar, hemp is not marijuana.
Hemp does not contain high levels of THC, which makes marijuana a controlled substance.
Local hemp farmer says his business has thrived in Pennsylvania.
“I am the perfect example of the ability of this plant to bring the community together, to start new business and to start an education program about what our future looks like,” said White.
Governor Wolf says he wants to see legislation on his desk as soon as possible.
Right now, New Jersey looks to be the next state to legalize marijuana. It’s on the ballot November 3rd.