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Wolf: Low Level Marijuana Offenses Are “Clogging” Prisons

Gov. Tom Wolf
Matt Rourke
AP Photo

Governor Tom Wolf is saying he thinks more can be done to cut down on marijuana arrests in Pennsylvania.

In an interview on WITF’s Smart Talk, Wolf said in some municipalities, decriminalization is already underway. He noted that prosecutors are using their discretion to downgrade punishments for possession of small amounts of marijuana.

However, the governor said more “systematic” action still needs to be taken.

“There are too many people who are going to prison because of the use of very modest amounts, or carrying modest amounts, of marijuana,” he said. “And that is clogging up our prisons, it’s destroying families, and it’s hurting our economy.”

But Wolf said he’s against legalizing recreational use, despite the potential economic benefits.

“I think we can watch what happens in Washington and Colorado and Oregon and see what their experience is. I’m not sure it’s been uniformly great,” he said.

Wolf signed a medical marijuana bill into law in April. The drug is slated to be available to patients in early 2018.  

Katie Meyer covers politics, policy, power, and elections at every level of government, with the goal of showing how it all affects people’s lives. Before coming to Philadelphia, she covered state politics as Harrisburg bureau chief for WITF, and hosted the station’s politics podcast. She got her start in public radio in the Bronx, at Fordham University station WFUV. She’s from upstate New York.