Gov. Tom Wolf again pushes Pennsylvania marijuana legalization to help fix financial damage from coronavirus


Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf on Tuesday once again prodded the Republican-led Legislature to legalize recreational use of marijuana, in part to generate revenue to repair damage done to the state’s finances by the coronavirus pandemic.

Republicans pushed back.

A spokeswoman referred to an earlier statement from Senate Majority Leader Jake Corman of Centre County, which said Wolf’s push for marijuana legalization during COVID-19 brought to mind the Winston Churchill quote, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”

And a House Republicans’ spokesman said members on Friday would unveil bills designed to put the state’s economy back on track.

At a news conference in Monroe County, Wolf said legalization could raise billions of dollars of revenue for the state.

While Wolf did not put numbers on the scale of the state’s fiscal hole, some estimates have put the budget shortfall over a two-year period at about $5 billion, excluding $1 billion-plus in as-yet unused federal coronavirus relief funds.

Wolf referred to a statewide listening tour on the issue done last year by Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, which Wolf said produced evidence of “overwhelming” support for legalization. [Read more at The Morning Call]