New Castle, Pa – Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is touring all 67 counties of PA.
He is giving each community the opportunity to voice their opinion on the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Reporter Goldieann McElwain shows us more from his stop in New Castle.
Fetterman brought his Recreational Marijuana listening tour to a New Castle elementary school recently.
“You came out here to talk about this important public policy issue, and this is a true listening tour, there are no right opinions there are no wrong opinions, no guided discovery or conclusion we’re trying to reach, what I think about it isn’t interesting, what is interesting is what you think about it, and that is why we’re here to talk about that tonight. So, thank you for coming out,” said Fetterman.
There were comment cards given at the door for the people of Lawrence county to voice their opinion, in case they were too afraid to say it at the microphone in front of the crowd.
“Lawrence county is equally as important as any other county in Pennsylvania. A lot of the individuals in smaller communities feel like they’re not apart of the conversation and don’t matter, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. This is an issue that people are very passionate about on both sides, and I believe that it is important to engage every corner of the Commonwealth. It’s a real honor to come to Lawrence County. We’re going to all 67 counties,” said Fetterman.
The Lieutenant governor urged people at the beginning of the event to really listen to each other. He asked the community to clap if they agreed with what they heard, but to please not boo if they disagreed.
“Now, in the 30 to 29 counties we’ve already gone to so far, I’ve never had to insist on civility it’s always been offered and its always been giving. You know I personally think we should be around more people we don’t necessarily agree with and hear what their views are. So, if you hear something you agree with tonight clap or applaud, if you hear something you don’t agree with please no booing. I want everybody no matter how pro or con you are to feel comfortable getting up to speak because it takes courage to get up and speak,” said Fetterman.
The lieutenant governor calls this his listening tour, but after sitting here and watching this event unfold it is clear that it is also a civility tour.
“I’m just encouraging their natural proclivity to be civil to each other because sometimes in social media in today’s day and age its easy to flame somebody or tee off. We’re divided politically as a country and I think it is important and good to be in the same room as people who don’t agree with you. You can see learning going on by both sides. It is important to see and hear these things. I want it to be a truly secure place for people to, regardless of what their views are, say what they believe their truth is,” said Fetterman.
There was a small security presence, however, it was un-necessary because the crowd was able to listen to opposing views and remain respectful of each other.
“This is our 30thevent and every one of them has been just like this, and these are counties that are divided politically, these are counties that have different opinions, and we got together and talked about this issue, and everyone did so while respecting everyone else’s views, and I think that is important,” said Fetterman.
After the community had their chance to say how they feel about recreational cannabis use – Fetterman took a hand poll – of who supported the legalization of it and who did not.
“Raise your hand for I, as in I am for the recreational use of cannabis in Pennsylvania. Okay, now all those opposed, No, to recreational use of marijuana in Pennsylvania raise your hand and keep them up for documentation. Finally raise your hand for undecided, not sure yet. Okay, thank you Lawrence County,” said Fetterman.
The event was heavily covered by the media including the Pennsylvania Cable Network and the New Castle news – who live streamed the event online. After the event was over people got to ask Fetterman questions and take selfies with him.