PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf says he is in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana in the commonwealth. He’s now asking lawmakers to consider legislation.
Wolf says he supports legalizing recreational marijuana, but he’s hoping lawmakers on both sides of the aisle will too.
“We are calling for the general assembly to seriously debate marijuana legalization,” Wolf said Wednesday.
After months of research, Wolf announced the results are in — Pennsylvania residents support legalizing recreational use of marijuana.
“I’m not opposed to it. I’m not an active user of marijuana, but I have no problem with legalization of recreational use in small quantities,” Bucks County resident Mark Gregotski said. “I think it’s also good not to tie up court systems for very minor possessions of marijuana.”
“I think it’s beneficial for some people, why not? Pennsylvania should be up to date with all the other states,” Kahushbu Pandit said.
Wolf says he’s also in support of some sort of legislation that would legalize recreational use, but state law enforcement does have its concerns.
“From a law enforcement perspective, I think it’s a bad idea,” Upper Darby Police Superintendent Michael Chitwood said. “I think we’ve already got one substance that we abuse daily and that’s alcohol. Now you’re going to abuse marijuana?”
Chitwood says legalizing any drug is a bad idea, especially if there’s no way to tell if a driver is under the influence of marijuana.
“All I am asking people who want to legalize marijuana is, look at the communities who have already done and then look at the crime and what they’re dealing with,” Chitwood said.
But those in support of recreational marijuana believe legislation will do more good for communities than harm.
“As we progress into the legalization of cannabis, we will also have more methods on how to regulate it as well,” Temple University senior Rachel Dettrey said. “Also I think coming from the perspective of trying to minimize the black market and trying to get it out of the hands of teenagers and children.”
Wolf also wants lawmakers to come up with a bill that decriminalizes marijuana as well as a bill that would expunge the records of those who were convicted of non-violent and small cannabis crimes.