Penn. Gov Says Citizens Are Not ‘Ready’ for Recreational Marijuana

The rest of his party, however, disagrees.

Photo by Flickr user Michael Vadon

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf didn’t mince words in a radio interview this week when discussing his stance on recreational marijuana in his state. Wolf doesn’t think Pennsylvania “is ready for recreational marijuana,” he said to KDKA Radio.

“There are, what, six states that have legalized recreational marijuana in the United States?,” Wolf said in the interview. “I don’t think the citizens of Pennsylvania are ready for it, and so the answer I would say is no.”

Nine states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana, for the record. Wolf offered little to no explanation during the interview regarding why Pennsylvanians aren’t “ready” for recreational marijuana. Instead, the governor reminded citizens that the state just legalized medical marijuana, filling in the “gap that existed in terms of doctors’ options for treating their patients.”

Wolf’s stance shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone who’s been listening to the Democratic governor.  He made a similar argument last year in response to Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, who’d been arguing in favor of recreational marijuana for the possible tax incentives.

“I don’t think Pennsylvania is ready for it,” Wolf said to NBC10 in March of last year. “I think that’s important. This is a democracy and you can’t move ahead of the electorate.”

Excuse the pun, but the governor operates as a lone Wolf amongst his party on the issue. The mayors of both Pittsburgh and Philadelphia are in favor and, as mentioned, DePasquale is a vocal advocate, stating Pennsylvania could rake in more than $500 million in tax revenue through legalization. A September 2017 F&M poll showed that 59 percent of Pennsylvanians also support recreational marijuana.

John Fetterman is running for lieutenant governor this fall and will act as Wolf’s running mate throughout the election. When asked on Twitter by someone to “put a bug” in the governor’s ear, his emoji-filled response said it all.

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