Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro Now Backs Legalizing Recreational Marijuana - NBC 10 Philadelphia

Pennsylvania AG Josh Shapiro Now Backs Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

Leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature have pushed back forcefully and said they oppose it

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    Gov. Wolf Supports Legalizing Marijuana for Recreational Use in Pennsylvania

    Governor Tom Wolf announced he supports legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Pennsylvania. He's asking lawmakers to pass a bill to make it happen.

    (Published Thursday, Sept. 26, 2019)

    Pennsylvania's top law enforcement officer is joining several other top state Democratic officials in backing the legalization of marijuana for recreational use by adults.

    Attorney General Josh Shapiro said in a Friday statement on Twitter that he changed his mind and supports legalizing recreational marijuana for people over the age of 21 after months of internal research and discussions with law enforcement colleagues.

    "Continuing to criminalize adult personal marijuana use is a waste of limited law enforcement resources, it disproportionately impacts our minority communities and it does not make us safer," Shapiro said.

    Shapiro's announcement comes two days after Gov. Tom Wolf made a similar announcement that he supports it. Lt. Gov. John Fetterman and Auditor General Eugene DePasquale, both Democrats, have long supported the idea, too.

    However, leaders of the Republican-controlled Legislature have pushed back forcefully and said they oppose it.

    Only two state legislatures, in Vermont and Illinois, have passed bills to legalize marijuana. Voters in nine other states legalized marijuana through referendum, an avenue that Pennsylvania law doesn't allow.