An agenda release by Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf includes an extensive COVID-19 recovery plan as well as a call to legalize recreational cannabis.
Gov. Wolf released his agenda on August 26, calling the state legislature to consider recreational cannabis among his other suggestions for pandemic recovery. “That is to legalize the use of marijuana use the income from the sale, the taxes that come from recreational marijuana to supplement these loans,” Wolf said at a press conference. “We need to provide relief for small businesses. Especially small businesses and in addition to all that we need to reform our government.” Wolf also wrote that legalizing recreational cannabis could bring in funds for grants to small businesses, with 50 percent of the funds to be given to businesses in need.
His proposition also included another portion of cannabis revenue, which would be used to “further restorative justice programs that give priority to repairing the harm done to crime victims and communities as a result of marijuana criminalization.”
Although cannabis was a major focus as a plan to boost other state programs, Gov. Wolf also addressed other avenues of growth. He included other proposals to provide hazard pay for essential workers, improve childcare and mentioned other ways to help small businesses that are struggling. To conclude, Gov. Wolf believes that Congress has ignored the health crisis and that his proposal aims to put an end to citizen suffering. “The legislature must come back and take immediate steps to provide funding to frontline workers and businesses, put in place protections for families and our workforce, and make these common sense reforms that can provide confidence in our government. Pennsylvanians need relief, they need reform, and they need it now,” Wolf stated.
Cannabis in Pennsylvania is decriminalized in certain cities and as of 2016,the state allows medical cannabis consumption for approved patients. Recreational cannabis has been proposed in the past with little traction in the state legislature.