In the state Senate, Democratic Senator Daylin Leach is working on legislation with Democratic Sen. Sharif Street — a bill that outlines regulations for legalization of marijuana use by adults within the state.
Sen. Leach released a photo of himself and Street poring over the documentation that will be submitted as the final draft of this proposed legislation.
Gov. Tom Wolf, who was previously against legalization, has been changing the approach he takes to discussions regarding the move in PA. Most recently, he has noted the success experienced by other states that have made the move. He believes the legislators in PA should follow the successes of these other states and learn from them before making a similar move for their own jurisdiction.
However, that lends itself to the idea that legalization in Pennsylvania is not as out of reach as advocates may have foreseen as recently as a few years ago.
The last bill to legalize recreational use was introduced in Sept. 2018 by State Rep. Jake Wheatley. The bill did not make it very far. However, with Governor Tom Wolf’s changing perspective and the likelihood of legalization in various states surrounding PA, the move may be the most logical — and best made sooner rather than later.
It is important to note that Wheatley has not given up on his hopes to see this measure passed. Already in 2019, he has sent out a memo requesting a co-sponsor for a new bill, very similar to that which he introduced in 2018.
Meanwhile, some legislators for PA at the federal level have voiced the intent to experience the effects of marijuana personally — regardless of the fact that the drug remains illegal both in the state and at the federal level.
US Rep. Bob Brady, D-PA, spoke up during an interview regarding his pending retirement and shared an interest in seeing what happens when one ingests marijuana. U.S. Rep. Brady committed to trying the drug — whether or not it is legal in PA or federally.
This willingness to share opinions and even plans to personally use the drug, as well as some legislators who have used marijuana in the past and have shared that fact at large, means that the turning tides of societal approval are affecting the way that legislators act and feel regarding the drug as well.