Pennsylvania advocates on Wednesday (September 16) added their voice to the push for marijuana legalization in the state, saying ‘the time to end the prohibition against cannabis has come.’
“Four score and seven years ago”
During a Wednesday news conference on the steps of the Capitol, Keystone Cannabis Coalition executive director Les Stark together with other Pennsylvania advocates called for action to reverse the law that prohibits marijuana in the state. Stark likened Abraham Lincoln’s popular phrase “Four score and seven years ago” to what he called a “war on the people over a plant that has always been here with us.”
According to Stark, marijuana has been illegal in Pennsylvania for 87 years since September 1, 1933. He stated that it was the then Pennsylvania Republican Governor Gifford Pinchot who signed a law that banned marijuana in the state.
Eighty-seven years, that’s how long we have suffered. What has the war on the people over cannabis wrought? Is there less cannabis in Pennsylvania today than there was in 1933? …Wake up, Stark said.
Stark was together with the advocates and lawmakers who added their voices to that of Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who has been pushing for the same cause lately. The advocates called on the General Assembly to pass a law that would legalize recreational marijuana for adult use, decriminalize the substance, and expunge all the records of those with low-level, non-violent marijuana convictions.
Calling for action on marijuana legalization
Recently, Pennsylvania leaders have been calling for action to reverse the laws that prohibit marijuana in the state. At a recent news conference, Governor Wolf pointed out that New Jersey voters are set to decide whether they will legalize cannabis for recreational, adult-use in the upcoming November 3 polls.
If they vote to legalize it, we will have given up the opportunity to gain the revenue that will definitely go across the border to New Jersey, Wolf said.
On his part, Lt. Gov. Fetterman emphasized that 40 percent of Pennsylvania population would take only a 30-minute drive to buy marijuana legally.
“We think our farmers would grow better legal marijuana than New Jersey’s. We think we should reap the benefits, not New Jersey. I don’t understand why this is even an issue, especially during this pandemic. Let’s get serious,” Lit. Gov. Fetterman said.
This becomes the second time in just two weeks the two leaders have called for action marijuana legalization. However, House leaders and Senate Republicans, the party that controls both chambers, have shown that they are reluctant to move on this issue this fall.