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Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. Photo: AL DIA Archives.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf. Photo: AL DIA Archives.

Gov. Wolf says PA should look into marijuana legalization

Should New Jersey and New York legalize cannabis in the near future, and yield successful results from doing so, Pennsylvania may be primed to follow suit.

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During a Twitter Q&A last week, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signaled his interest in taking a closer look at legalizing recreational marijuana.

Up until last week, Wolf has said that the state isn’t ready to legalize cannabis. However, he pointed to the fact that other states have been successful in their legalization efforts, and as a result Pennsylvania should take a “serious and honest look” at following suit.

Wolf made his comments as marijuana legalization has picked up momentum nationwide, including in bordering states.

New Jersey is moving toward legalization, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said recently that “it’s time to legalize the adult use of recreational marijuana once and for all.”

Following a WHYY article on his comments, Wolf tweeted again, that “we can’t ignore what’s happening in neighboring states and throughout the country.”

“We can’t just stick our heads in the sand,” he added.

Medicinal marijuana has been legal in Pennsylvania since 2016, and in Philadelphia, marijuana is decriminalized.

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney, who has long advocated for marijuana legalization - particularly for economic and criminal justice reasons - jumped on Wolf’s comments, thanking him for considering the issue.

“Statewide marijuana legalization can help address disparities in our criminal justice system, create new economic opportunities, specifically for diverse entrepreneurs, and raise much-needed funds for our schools,” he tweeted.

While marijuana legalization may still be far off in Pennsylvania, Wolf’s comments are a noteworthy change of course, one which could spur further momentum.

Should New Jersey and New York legalize cannabis in the near future, and yield successful results from doing so, Pennsylvania may be primed to follow in their footsteps.

For more on Governor Wolf's Q&A, click here.

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