HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Gov. Tom Wolf says he is now in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Pennsylvania.
Wolf’s announcement Wednesday advances his position from last December, when he signaled that he was open to taking a look at it as it gathered popularity and momentum, particularly in bordering states. Before last winter, he had dismissed the idea.
Wolf, a Democrat, made the announcement while releasing a report from Lt. Gov. John Fetterman’s statewide listening tour on legalizing marijuana.
Wolf has long supported decriminalizing the possession of small amounts of marijuana, although the Legislature hasn’t passed legislation to that effect, and he signed legislation in 2016 creating Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program.
He also wants lawmakers to allow the expungement of past convictions of non-violent and small marijuana-related crimes.
Republicans rejected the idea, saying it conflicts with efforts to combat the opioid crisis.
“We are disappointed and frustrated Gov. Wolf would promote recreational use of a drug classified as a Schedule I narcotic by the federal government. Our state is in the midst of an opioid epidemic. Gov. Wolf signed a disaster declaration over the crisis and renewed the declaration six separate times since January 2018. We do not believe easing regulations on illegal drugs is the right move in helping the thousands of Pennsylvanians who are battling drug addiction.PA House Republican Leadership