Wheatley lauds Gov. Tom Wolf’s notion to take serious look at legalizing recreational marijuana

HARRISBURG, Dec. 20 – State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, today released the following statement regarding Gov. Tom Wolf’s recent public comments on taking a “serious” look at legalizing recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania.

“Today I join with many Pennsylvanians to applaud our governor for finally publicly recognizing that our commonwealth needs to take a hard look at the numerous social, economic and medical benefits legal adult-use cannabis would bring to our state.

“Last year, I introduced the first comprehensive legislation to not only legalize adult-use cannabis and generate an estimated half billion dollars in tax revenue, but also expunge criminal records, return drivers and professional licenses, incentivize partnerships with Pennsylvania farmers and continue to grow the infrastructure developed by medical cannabis.

“Medical cannabis was the right first step, but we can do more. This is why we took Senator Leach’s older first drafts of a legalization bill and spent months compiling the comprehensive version I introduced last year. My bill goes further than any other by rectifying injustices and making investments in the people of the commonwealth.

“This is why I will be introducing House Bill 50 in the 2019-20 legislative session, which will build upon all of the work done last year and now include dedicating the revenue generated by the tax to be invested in affordable housing, school-loan debt forgiveness and afterschool programs.

“Pennsylvanians have spoken. They want the commonwealth to progress and for legislators to be creative and forward thinking. The legalization of cannabis with social justice reforms and investments in our future will strengthen the people and bring Pennsylvania into the 21st century,” Wheatley said.

Wolf made his comments about looking into legalizing recreational marijuana Wednesday while answering questions from the public via Twitter.

Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law April 17, 2016. Medical marijuana became available to commonwealth residents Feb. 15, 2018.