It seems that Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf has had a substantial change of heart in regards to the legalization of cannabis. Though he’s made it clear in the past that he’d consider it, he left no doubt after tweeting this on Wednesday:
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
“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.”
The statement immediately piqued the interest of his constituents and cannabis advocates and activists. With over 500 retweets and nearly 2,000 likes, it was a popular sentiment. And a welcome one. Senator Daylin Leach, who is supporting a legalization bill currently that will be introduced in January, was pleasantly surprised by the tweet.
“I’m excited and encouraged by the governor’s change of heart,” Leach said on Philly.com. “He and I have spent a lot of time talking about this issue. The experience of other states shows that ending prohibition has no downside to it. Additionally, it will go a long way moving the ball forward on criminal justice reform. I’m sure whatever bill we pass will be the best in the nation.”
Optimism and proactive measures, like penning and supporting new cannabis legislation, are certainly taking the path to justice and possibility for Pennsylvania. State Auditor General Eugene DePasquale estimated back in July that legal cannabis could bring $580 million or more annually. And keeping people out of jail for marijuana possession is top priority.
So far 10 states have legalized the adult use of recreational cannabis, and more are weighing their options and leaning toward the green at a rapid clip. States around Pennsylvania like New Jersey are on the cusp of flipping over to legalization and NY Governor Cuomo recently also called for the legalization of cannabis in his state in 2019.
The green wave continues to swell and with well over half the country having medical marijuana laws and with legalization becoming nearly as normalized, it seems that there’s no clear end of this cannabis onslaught in sight. Now if only the federal government would come around, things would unravel more quickly and states would domino against each other until the U.S. of A. was a deep sea of green.