Pennsylvania may be closer than ever to legalizing recreational marijuana, with two bills in the state Senate that would do just that if enacted. With medical marijuana already legal in the state since 2016 and 59 percent of Pennsylvanians in favor of full legalization, this is an interesting time for people seeking to end the practice of incarcerating individuals for possessing marijuana.
It is not clear if legalization will happen this year, but there is support for it at the top. Gov. Tom Wolf has promised to seriously consider signing a bill to legalize marijuana if one should reach his desk. And Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has been less ambiguous about his support for decriminalizing marijuana use in Pennsylvania. He is current engaged in a listening tour of the state to gauge the public's view on the issue.
What Fetterman is hearing about marijuana
Fetterman was nearly halfway through his county-by-county tour when he reached Lehigh County recently. Instead of giving a speech, he asked the audience to share their views. Many of those who spoke in favor of legalization emphasized the potential tax revenue and benefit to business owners. Others told stories about how marijuana helped them with cancer treatment or deal with chronic pain.
It does not sound like anyone mentioned the effects of having a marijuana arrest on your record, but that is also a serious issue to be considered. A criminal record, even for a low-level, non-violent offense like marijuana possession, can affect your ability to get into college, land a job or rent a place to live. Legalization might not help those with an existing record, but it would allow other to enjoy marijuana without fear of having their lives ruined by the government.
Take control of your drug case
If you are facing marijuana or other drug charges, you need experienced and steady criminal defense representation to reach the possible outcome. Talk to a defense attorney to learn more.