Pennsylvania Governor Wants to Legalize Marijuana to Help With COVID-19 Recovery Effort

Illustration for article titled Pennsylvania Governor Wants to Legalize Marijuana to Help With COVID-19 Recovery Effort
Photo: Yarygin (Shutterstock)

Pennsylvania’s Democratic Governor Tom Wolf included marijuana legalization as part of his legislative agenda for the state’s COVID-19 economy recovery plan.

CNN reports that Gov. Wolf has asked the state legislature to work towards legalizing marijuana. A press release outlining his proposed plan states that 50 percent of marijuana sales be directed towards historically disadvantaged businesses, while a smaller amount would go towards grants for small businesses. Wolf also requests that some of the potential funds go towards “further restorative justice programs that give priority to repairing the harm done to crime victims and communities as a result of marijuana criminalization.”

Additionally, the governor called upon the General Assembly to create reform policies that would “restore justice,” for people who’ve been convicted on marijuana charges. Marijuana legalization was just one of the many proposals Wolf outlined in his agenda. Additional proposals include extended hazard pay to frontline workers, making child care more accessible and providing further relief for small businesses.

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“House and Senate Democrats have been fighting for progress to protect families and businesses in these spaces since the beginning of the pandemic, but they have been stopped at every turn by the Republican majority focused on ignoring the public health crisis,” Wolf said.

“That must stop now. The legislature must come back and take immediate steps to provide funding to frontline workers and businesses, put in place protections for families and our workforce, and make these common-sense reforms that can provide confidence in our government. Pennsylvanians need relief, they need reform, and they need it now.”

According to the release, the money for Wolf’s proposals would be generated by the sales of legal marijuana as well as $1 billion in CARES act funds that the state has placed on reserve.

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DISCUSSION

I don't think this will pass. Between antiweed GOP legislators and the "systematic racism" doesn't exist, I don't think it will get the votes it needs (wish we had ballot initiatives like California).