Wheatley applauds governor’s call for cannabis reform, urges action on adult-use legislation

Pittsburgh legislator’s bill would legalize adult use, reinvest revenues in Pennsylvania’s future and address social justice, equality issues

HARRISBURG, Sept. 25 – Today Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman called on the legislature to take up the mantle of adult-use cannabis reform by passing legislation to expunge minor criminal records, decriminalize small amounts of adult-use cannabis and move toward full legalization in the near future.

State Rep. Jake Wheatley, D-Allegheny, who has not only called for legalization and expungement, but has championed legislation to enact these policies, thanked Wolf and Fetterman and said he looks forward passing legislation to move this agenda forward.

“For too long, we have allowed myths and ignorance to prevent a realistic and thoughtful discussion regarding the legalization of adult-use cannabis,” Wheatley said. “I want to thank Governor Wolf and Lieutenant Governor Fetterman for calling for that discussion to take place. My legislation builds on the invaluable efforts of so many by crafting comprehensive legislation that would not only decriminalize and legalize adult-use cannabis, but also would rectify decades of injustice while investing in the people and future of our commonwealth.”

Wheatley’s legislation – H.B. 50 – is the result of a deliberative, collaborative effort by a wide group of stakeholders, including the medical community and law enforcement. In addition to legalizing adult-use cannabis, his bill would levy a tax on cannabis and reinvest the new revenue in affordable housing, afterschool programs and student debt forgiveness. His bill would also incentivize manufacturers to partner with Pennsylvania farmers, many of whom could save their family farms by converting their crops.

Further, Wheatley’s bill would create a framework for social justice reform by expunging criminal records, exonerating anyone incarcerated for now-legal cannabis charges and returning driver’s and professional licenses to those who simply want to be able to work.

“Pennsylvanians have spoken. The misconceptions that have been prolonged by those who are stuck in opposition have been debunked,” Wheatley said. “We in the legislature need to heed the governor’s call to do what is best for the people of Pennsylvania and pass this legislation.”