The majority of Pennsylvia residents want marijuana to be legalized for adults, according to a statewide tour conducted by government officials.
Governor Tom Wolf and Lt. Governor John Fetterman on Wednesday announced the final report from their statewide recreation marijuana tour, which ran from February 2019 through May 2019, and broke down their findings for the public.
There are a lot of significant takeaways from the report, including:
· 65-70% approve of adult-use cannabis legalization.
· Residents favored creation of an oversight entity to regulate sales in a strict, controlled manner.
· Residents expressed near-unanimous support for decriminalization and mass expungement of non-violent and small cannabis-related offenses.
· People see economic potential, saying the state would save money on prosecution and incarceration of cannabis-related offenses. Residents who commented said regulated sales could create jobs. They specified that income generated should be used for infrastructure, education, and property tax relief.
· Many emphasized that cannabis if legalized should be grown on Pennsylvania farms and should create jobs in Pennsylvania. Residents were also interested in a provision allowing six to eight homegrown cannabis plants for personal use.
· There was near-unanimous support for removing cannabis from its current classification as a Schedule 1 drug, alongside deadly drugs like heroin.
· The tour showed widespread, universal support for the state’s medical-marijuana program. Residents want to see distinct programs for medical marijuana and adult recreational use.
· Support or opposition does not appear to be contained to certain demographics or party affiliations.
· People are concerned about an increase of people driving under the influence.
· Most are opposed to candy-like edibles, such as gummy worms, because of their potential appeal for children.
· People have concerns about cannabis acting as a “gateway” drug.
Gov. Wolf said in a press release that, “We now know the majority of Pennsylvanians are in favor of legalization, and that includes me.”
Additionally, he added, “I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together, especially the criminal justice reforms I am proposing today, which will have an immediately positive influence on thousands of families across Pennsylvania.”
Besides this report, Gov Wolf and Lt. Gov. Fetterman are seeking to move forward with the next steps listed below. Here’s what the planned next steps are:
1. They want legislatures to get a decriminalization non-violent and small cannabis-related offenses bill to the Governors’ desk.
2. They want to work to help restore justice and expunge convictions of small and non-violent cannabis-related crimes.
3. They also are planning on calling the General Assembly to debate and consider adult-use recreational marijuana.