PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf set off a storm of speculation with a tweet on legalizing recreational marijuana.
Tweeted the governor: “More and more states are successfully implementing marijuana legalization, and we need to keep learning from their efforts. Any change would take legislation. But I think it is time for Pennsylvania to take a serious and honest look at recreational marijuana.”
More and more states are successfully implementing marijuana legalization, and we need to keep learning from their efforts. Any change would take legislation. But I think it is time for Pennsylvania to take a serious and honest look at recreational marijuana. https://t.co/LHOmYKzMyp
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) December 19, 2018
On Thursday, Wolf said he was just being a realist because neighboring New York and New Jersey are considering legalization.
“I’m just saying that I’m going to look at what’s going on in the neighboring states, see if we can continue to learn from them and other states that through referendum and legislative action legalized it, and see what we ought to be doing,” he said.
“I’m just keeping my eyes open,” said the Governor at a press conference in Harrisburg.
“I think there is just an enormous wealth of reasons why we should go full Colorado as I’ve campaigned on,” Lt. Gov.-elect John Fetterman told KDKA political editor Jon Delano on Thursday.
Fetterman has long supported full legalization of marijuana, while Wolf — during the campaign last year — was much more hesitant, saying he wasn’t sure the state was ready for it.
“The fact that now he’s open to this, again, doesn’t surprise me because that’s the kind of leadership Gov. Wolf has,” said Fetterman.
Fetterman has no doubts of the benefits of legalizing marijuana.
“From a revenue standpoint, the enormous amount of revenue it could generate — the fact that you would take a popular product, for lack of a better phrase, out of the shadows and regulate it and tax it and make it readily available and removing the criminality from it,” he said. “I think it’s all upside.”
But Republicans, who control the legislature, are not yet convinced with the Senate Republican leader calling it “reckless and irresponsible.”
This debate is just beginning.