Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman was in DuBois Thursday night as part of his statewide listening tour on legalizing recreational marijuana. Most of the people who spoke at the event support legalization.
“All I want to do is have a little puff," a retired school teacher told Fetterman to applause from the crowd.
The former teacher said he’d like to be able to smoke marijuana without worrying about getting into trouble. He was one of about two dozen people who spoke in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana.
The event at Penn State DuBois was the seventh stop on Lieutenant Governor’s John Fetterman’s statewide listening tour that will hit all of Pennsylvania’s 67 counties. Fetterman supports legalizing pot, but he said his views aren’t important. What’s important he said, is talking about it.
“My hope, and I’ve seen this first hand, is that some people that might be con might be persuaded, or some people that are unabashedly pro, might hear — well, I’m pro, but that was a good point,” Fetterman said.
Fetterman polled the 125 or so people at the event, and most were in favor of legalization. Supporters said pot could bring economic benefits and ease the burden on the criminal justice system. Alcohol, they noted, is addictive and legal.
But a handful of people spoke against it. They pointed to concerns that pot could lead to harder drugs; that it is unsafe for young people; and that it can be addictive.
Susan Ford, executive director for the Clearfield-Jefferson Drug and Alcohol Commission, said she does not think using marijuana should be treated as a crime. But, she is concerned about what could happen if recreational pot becomes legal.
“I don’t think we’re ready yet," Ford said. "I think these are things that need to be thought through before we just say, ‘OK, let’s go.’”
Fetterman said most of those at the stops so far have been for legalization. When finished, he’ll make a report to the governor that will be publicly available.