A slippery slope
Gov. Tom Wolf says “Pennsylvania is ready for this.”
He is referring to the legalization of recreational use of marijuana, which he says the Pennsylvania General Assembly should go forward with.
We do not share his sentiments and hope the leaders of the Republican majority in the Legislature maintain the forceful rejection of the idea they recently expressed.
“Our caucus has no plans or interest in legalizing recreational marijuana,” the House Republican leadership said in a joint statement.
First of all, Wolf’s reasoning that the state is now prepared for recreational marijuana is faulty. That infers there were or now are no other issues regarding marijuana other than the state’s being prepared for it.
We would beg to differ.
Opinions differ, but there is a significant belief among professionals that marijuana is a gateway drug that leads to the use of stronger, more lethal illegal drugs.
That includes opioids, which have overpowered this country with death and misery, with Pennsylvania among the most impacted states.
With the state trying to tackle that problem in a variety of ways and locality after locality struggling with the epidemic, Wolf’s stance is downright irresponsible. Given the situation, legalizing marijuana is the last thing the state needs.
Although there are stronger sentiments favoring the use of medical marijuana, even that usage is not viewed positively by everyone in the medical community.
There are 11 states that allow legal use of recreational marijuana, although only two legislatures have actually passed bills legalizing its recreational use. In the other nine states, it was approved by referendum.
In some of those states, particularly Colorado, there is strong sentiment that legalized marijuana has led to a more lethargic environment and an increase in the presence of unproductive populations in urban areas.
So no, Pennsylvania is not ready for legalized recreational marijuana.