Pennsylvania marijuana laws are something that many Pennsylvanians have been wanting to see change in, and the state house took an important step closer to legalization this week. Governor Tom Wolf is making sure of this.
In fact, in a recent Muhlenberg College poll regarding marijuana, close to 6 in 10 (58%) of adults in the state support “complete legalization” of cannabis.
Complete legalization would indicate the same approach that New Jersey took to legalization, including compounds such as Delta 8 and Delta 10 THC in their legalization bill.
Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf recently signed House Bill 1024 into law, which provided important updates to the state’s Medical Marijuana program.
These updates included legislation that allows adult use cannabis patients to buy their medicine in 90 day supplies as opposed to the previous 30 day supply limit on purchases.
“Its been five years since Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana, and in that time the Department of Health has examined the program’s successes and challenges and made important recommendations on improving the law” said Wolf to northcentralpa.com.
He continued: “This legalization provides important updates to our state’s medical marijuana program to ensure that patients have improved access to medication”.
What’s the Next Step for the State to Legalize Adult Use?
The Governor and his legislative team have been pushing for marijuana legalization within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Federal law still states that marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance. This would place marijuana in the same drug classification as heroin, LSD, Peyote, and Ecstasy.
This classification is a bit out of line, and any one with any experience with cannabis at all knows how misrepresentative this classification of the drug is. As such, at the federal level cannabis is seen as a drug that “currently has no accepted medical use in the United States, a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision, and a high potential for abuse”.
These drug classifications are most definitely dated, especially considering the fact that marijuana DOES have medical uses, making its scheduling completely nonsensical.
With accepted medical use in 36 states and 4 United States territories, to have this substance classified with hard drugs that can cause serious, and sometimes fatal harm, is unjust. The continued War on Drugs continues to allow those in power in Washington DC to keep it as a Schedule I substance.
New Jersey, New York, as well as Connecticut have all legalized recreational marijuana, all of these being neighboring states of Pennsylvania. Recreational cannabis is something that Voters across the country have been pushing for, and it is becoming a more bipartisan issue by the day.
This means that it is seeing support from both Republicans and Democrats, as they both see a tremendous amount of tax revenue in the cannabis industry.
So What About PA?
This is an issue that is voter approved, as seen in the Muhlenberg poll. Tom Wolf knows this, and has also been advocating for adult use in the state since he came into office.
He stated to a crowd in Tobyhanna, PA the following: “Much of our knowledge about how to grow, process and use hemp was lost after industrial hemp was regulated and banned along with marijuana in the 1930s,” Wolf said. “And Pennsylvania lost the benefits of an industry with a long history of providing jobs and resources here in the commonwealth. When hemp and marijuana were banned, we didn’t just lose jobs, we lost decades of research opportunities, innovation and economic growth.”
Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman continued with the governor’s sentiment stating: “Every year in Pennsylvania, another 20,000 people get cannabis-related criminal charges that can keep them from getting the jobs and housing they want,” said Lt. Gov. Fetterman. “It’s time we stop ruining people’s futures over something that’s already legal in several states and something that most Pennsylvanians don’t even think should be illegal.”
Want to read more about the Governor’s future plans for the state? Visit his official website here.
A step was taken this week for the state. Not a huge one, but a step is a step nonetheless. When coming back from a period of prohibition, it is hard for legislation to move as fast as the world changes.
Pennsylvanians should be optimistic however, their governor is seriously pushing for legal adult use in the state, with just as much passion and vigor as his counterparts in neighboring states.