Overwhelming Support To Legalize Recreational Marijuana At Listening Tour Stop In State College

Apr 16, 2019

Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman’s listening tour on recreational marijuana made its stop in Centre County Tuesday. The overwhelming majority of those who spoke supported legalization of recreational marijuana.

A retired state police officer said he believes marijuana doesn’t make people violent and that prosecution of pot related crimes is too harsh.

“I think marijuana should be legalized, so my brothers and sisters could go after the serious people that are committing the crimes of bringing drugs into this commonwealth, and not the person that’s just getting high because he’s got a marijuana stick,” he said.

A registered nurse said her patients get significant help from marijuana in managing pain and appetite.

“This is something that could really be used for good,” she said.

Others in favor of legalization talked about restoring criminal justice and providing Pennsylvania with tax dollars and jobs. Several said they hope legalization will ease the high cost of medical marijuana as well as expanding access for those who need it.

Currently, it’s a summary offense to possess a small amount of marijuana in the State College Borough. The same offense is a misdemeanor on Penn State campus and elsewhere in Pennsylvania under state and federal law.

Legalization will face significant hurdles in the Republican controlled state legislature. In a recent interview, State Majority Leader Jake Corman told WPSU that he thinks it’s still too early for legalization.

“I know public support has moved on this, and that’s certainly understandable, but at the same time, I think the evidence from the states that have done it certainly isn’t compelling. I think we should take a go-slow approach,” Corman said.

Centre County is the 41st stop in the 67-county tour. By a show of hands, a few at the event on Tuesday said they oppose legalization, or were undecided on the issue.

In an article published Tuesday, Fetterman said he has seen about 70 percent support on legalization so far and near unanimous support on decriminalization of recreational marijuana.