Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman is urging state legislators to legalize cannabis to reduce the large budget deficit that is looming. Pennsylvania faces a $3.2 billion budget deficit, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“If only there was a widely consumed unregulated cash crop, entirely left to the black market, that could generate billions of dollars + 1,000 jobs + help farmers,” John Fetterman tweeted on July 2.
He continued his call for the legalization of cannabis to the local media in Pittsburgh.
The ban on marijuana is a truly minority view in Pennsylvania,” Fetterman said in a television interview. “A significant majority of Pennsylvanians are in favor of legalization, and I would just like to ask anyone who isn’t in favor of legalization if they are sure they want to pay more taxes.
Mr. Fetterman said he thought that legalizing cannabis in Pennsylvania could bring in as much as half a billion dollars each year.
There is already a thriving cannabis market in Pennsylvania,” he said. “Why not make it legal, why not make it safe and why not make it taxable to help Pennsylvania get back on its feet?
A proposal to legalize cannabis is currently blocked at the Pennsylvania Justice and Law Commission. Its chairman, Republican Patrick Stefano, said he has several concerns about the legalization of cannabis, including the lack of a credible way to measure and judge THC intoxication. His committee, he said, will need more information before it can vote.
The bill to legalize cannabis for adult recreational use is in my committee and I don’t expect to do it anytime soon,” Stefano said. “We still have a lot of research to do.