HARRISBURG, Pa.-- Governor Tom Wolf says state lawmakers must legalize the sale and use of marijuana to help Pennsylvania's economy, currently suffering from COVID-19 shutdowns and slowdowns.
Wolf joined Lt. Gov. John Fetterman in a news conference on Tuesday, pushing the message that Pennsylvania's legislators can legalize recreational marijuana. The state can use the tax revenue to benefit small businesses and pay for restorative justice programs.
"I urge the legislature to join me in building a foundation now to strengthen Pennsylvania's economy by legalizing cannabis for adult use," Gov. Wolf said. "This is revenue that can help Pennsylvanians adversely impacted by the criminal justice system access restorative justice programs, it can be earmarked to help our historically disadvantaged small businesses weather the economic crisis caused by COVID-19, and it will give our economy a much-needed boost."
The COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous disruptions to Pennsylvania's economy, and with additional federal aid stagnating in Congress, Wolf said legalized cabanas could help the state's economy recover.
Lt. Gov. Fetterman has long led the charge for decriminalizing possession of small amounts of cannabis, which can save money and change the path of the lives of people previously convicted of these low-level crimes.
"In 2019, nearly 22,000 people in PA were arrested for having a small amount of marijuana," Lt. Gov. Fetterman said. "We can better devote the time and resources we spend prosecuting these Pennsylvanians for doing something that most of us think shouldn't even be illegal."