Pennsylvania Governor Calls For State To Legalize Marijuana, Citing Pandemic

A few of the earnings from recreational cannabis sales would go toward traditionally disadvantaged businesses, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says. Wolf is calling for legal pot sales as part of a plan to help Pennsylvanias economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt Rourke/AP

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Matt Rourke/AP

A few of the income from leisure marijuana sales would go towards traditionally disadvantaged organizations, Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf states. Wolf is calling for legal pot sales as part of a plan to assist Pennsylvanias economy recuperate from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Matt Rourke/AP

Marijuana has actually been legal for medicinal use in Pennsylvania because 2016, thanks to legislation Wolf signed. The state formally triggered its medical marijuana program in 2018.

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf is asking state lawmakers to legislate leisure cannabis, stating the federal government might utilize the tax earnings to support small companies and to money corrective justice programs.

Im contacting the legislature to legalize leisure cannabis, with the earnings going to:
Small company grant funding Restorative justice programs
At the very same time, we should pursue policies that restore justice for individuals founded guilty of marijuana-related offenses.– Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) August 25, 2020

Wolfs plan requires a few of the income from marijuana sales would be utilized to fund grants for small companies. And 50% of that funding, he states, would be scheduled for traditionally disadvantaged organizations.

In a statement, Benninghoff said Wolf wants taxpayers to bail him out of the financial difficulty that Republicans say was triggered not by the pandemic, but by the guvs reaction to it.

The governors call to legalize the sale and use of marijuana becomes part of a broader plan that Wolf says will help Pennsylvanias economy, which is experiencing months of slowdowns and shutdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

And because of the numerous bars and restaurants that have actually struggled to survive the pandemic, his plan would also get rid of the state or cancels alcohol tax for 6 months.

Other earnings would go toward “restorative justice programs that give top priority to fixing the damage done to criminal activity victims and neighborhoods as a result of marijuana criminalization.”

House Majority Leader Kerry Benninghoff, a Republican, reacted to Wolfs proposition by accusing him of being “disingenuous” by putting out “an unaffordable legal program.”

As member station WITF reports, Republican legislators in the House strategy to concentrate on limiting Wolfs powers when they reconvene this month.

Wolf does not face a reelection vote in November. As a two-term guv, he needs to leave office after the 2022 election.

Pennsylvania Republicans have clashed repeatedly with Wolf over coronavirus-related restrictions, challenging his authority in a battle that was just recently chosen by a state Supreme Court judgment (Wolf won that skirmish).

Wolf says that in addition to cannabis earnings, the state could pay for his agenda by tapping the more than $1 billion in federal coronavirus relief money it still has in its coffers from the CARES Act.

Its unsure what sort of reception the Democratic governors strategy might satisfy in the Republican-led General Assembly. Wolf acknowledged that in current months, Democrats initiatives “have been stopped at every turn by the Republican majority focused on ignoring the general public health crisis.”

Other elements of the guvs proposition to deal with the coronavirus and increase Pennsylvanias economy consist of a $3.00/ hour boost in hazard spend for more than 200,000 frontline employees.