A Democratic newcomer will take on a six-year incumbent for the 10th Congressional District in November’s general election.
Mike Molesevich of Lewisburg secured the Democratic nomination in April after running as a write-in candidate. Owner of Molesevich Environmental LLC, he has been a member of Lewisburg Borough Council and the mayor of Lewisburg.
Before being elected six years ago, U.S. Rep. Tom Marino, R-Cogan Station, served as U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania and Lycoming County District Attorney.
The 10th Congressional District includes Lycoming, Northumberland, Sullivan, Tioga and Union counties as well as Bradford, Juniata, Lackawana, Mifflin, Monroe, Perry, Pike, Snyder, Susquehanna and Wayne counties.
Q. Should marijuana be legalized on a national level, either for medical or recreational use?
Molesevich: “Yes. It has to be removed from the schedule one list. I don’t think this war on drugs has been very successful … In a war, there is often battle on different fronts … A good general would weigh what the losses of troops or citizens are on those different fronts. And if we are loosing people … on the opioid front and we are not losing people on the marijuana front, shouldn’t we take our recourses, our valuable men and women, the cost of people, enforcement, jail time and prosecution time … and put them on the front where we are losing soldiers and people?
“Now whether it is legalization or decriminalization, let’s put something on the table and move on. Right now it’s a question of states rights. Individual states are doing it on their own, so are we going to have a quilt version of 50 states that have 50 different laws, rules and regulations related to marijuana, versus one? I think I know which one would be simpler and easier.”
Marino: “The only way I would agree to consider legalizing marijuana is if we had a really in depth-medical scientific study. If it does help people one way or another, then produce it in pill form … You can’t smoke it for this, but you take a pill. But don’t make an excuse because you want to smoke marijuana. Look what’s happening to states and cities who are legalizing it. They are running into a lot of problems.
“I’m a states’ rights guy. The less federal government in my life, the best. I think it’s a states’ right issue. If Pennsylvania passes it… and if I don’t like it, I can pick up and move.
“But I don’t agree with the smoking part of it.”