Governor Tom Wolf renews call for state lawmakers to legalize recreational marijuana

Written by on October 14, 2020

Governor Tom Wolf renews call for state lawmakers to legalize recreational marijuana

By Sam Dunklau, WITF

October 14, 2020

Eric Titus White, hemp farmer, showing a cutting of industrial hemp. Governor Tom Wolf visited The Mountain Center in Tobyhanna, Monroe County on Oct. 13. Commonwealth Media Services / via Gov. Tom Wolf Flickr

Governor Tom Wolf is renewing his call for state lawmakers to legalize recreational marijuana.

WITF’s Sam Dunklau reports the governor has pitched the idea to GOP lawmakers several times this fall, but now he’s trying a different approach.

Wolf says to understand what legalization could do for the commonwealth, it’s important to look at Pennsylvania’s industrial hemp industry.

The THC-free crop had been banned in the 1930s, but the commonwealth green-lit research on the plant for use in clothing, building materials, medicine and more.

It was re-legalized at the federal level in 2018.

Wolf says in just the last few years, the state Agriculture Department has issued hundreds of hemp growing permits across nearly every county.

“Hemp is now a very fast growing industry in Pennsylvania once again, one that is diversifying our economy and helping to strengthen it.”

Wolf says all of this means Pennsylvania can handle legalizing recreational marijuana.

He says the pressure to do it is on because New Jersey voters are considering a legalization ballot measure this election.

Pennsylvania Republican lawmakers say that kind of proposal will not be on the table anytime soon.

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