‘Embarrassing’: Pennsylvania lawmakers push to legalize recreational marijuana

(WHTM) – Tuesday’s election had a significant impact on certain policies across the country, including recreational marijuana use.

Aside from West Virginia, Pennsylvania is now the only state in the region that has not legalized marijuana for recreational use.

That only changed after Ohio voted for legalization on Tuesday. Lawmakers abc27 spoke to today say it’s time for Pennsylvania to do the same

Rep. Ismail Smith-Wade-El (D-Lancaster) said, “I actually find it kind of embarrassing that Pennsylvania is still behind.”

Behind other states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

Ohio and Delaware just did it, Maryland last year and New York and New Jersey in 2021.

The prospects for Pennsylvania to do the same are unclear.

Rep. Dave Madsen (D-Dauphin) said, “We all need to come to the table, support a consensus bill, vote on it, expedite it and get it to the governors for signature.”

Democratic lawmakers like Madsen and Smith-Wade-El argue that Pennsylvania is losing revenue.

Madsen said, “If they’re in western PA now, they’ll go to Ohio, buy it there and then come back and use it here.”

This may be especially true now that two major cities, both on opposite sides of the state, are very close to states that allow or will soon allow recreational marijuana.

“If we have the opportunity to stimulate our economy and get more people out of prison, we must take it and the legislation is there,” Smith-Wade-El said.

It’s not worth it, says John Daviau of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, an organization that advocates against recreational use.

Daviau said: “It’s not a Democrat or Republican issue. This is about the public health of Pennsylvanians.”

abc27 asked this:

“They argue that marijuana is an addictive substance, but so is alcohol, and that is legal across the country and of course here in Pennsylvania. So what’s the difference between the two?”

Daviau said: “We have two legal drugs, do we really want the third?”

Daviau and other opponents argue that marijuana can cause mental health problems and endanger children.

“We have this for-profit addiction industry that needs to drive the bandwagon. And that’s probably really the biggest concern because, again, they need to appeal to teenagers and young adults to be profitable,” Daviau said.

Bipartisan bills have been introduced to allow recreational use.

There hasn’t been much movement, but if there was, it’s likely Gov. Josh Shapiro would sign her.

James Brien

James Brien is a WSTNewsPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. James Brien joined WSTNewsPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing:

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