Gainey joins Wolf to call on legislature to act on decriminalization of marijuana

Calls governor’s report and call to action ‘the start of a new Pennsylvania’

HARRISBURG, Sept. 25 – Today state Rep. Ed Gainey, D-Allegheny, joined Gov. Tom Wolf in calling for the state legislature to pass legislation to decriminalize small amounts of adult-use cannabis and to expunge prior criminal records related to minor marijuana violations.

Today is the start of a new Pennsylvania. Today Governor Tom Wolf called upon the legislature to pass legislation to expunge criminal records related to minor marijuana crimes and to decriminalize small amounts of adult-use cannabis,” Gainey said. “This should have happened a long time ago – we know that. But today is a new day, and the time to act is now. We have an opportunity to reverse the damage that the war on drugs has done to our communities and to give Pennsylvanians a second chance.

“I want to thank Governor Wolf and Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman for their support in this and look forward to working with them and my fellow legislators to get this done for the people of Pennsylvania.”

The call to action came during a news conference Wednesday in Harrisburg, where the Wolf administration announced the final report from the lieutenant governor’s statewide recreational marijuana tour and proposed next steps as a result of input from thousands of Pennsylvanians who attended a listening session or submitted input via an online form.

In addition to announcing the report, Wolf and Fetterman called for three actions:

  1. Asking the legislature to get a bill to the governor’s desk that decriminalizes non-violent and small cannabis-related offenses.
  2. Seeking a path to restorative justice through the expungement of past convictions of non-violent and small cannabis-related crimes.
  3. Calling on the General Assembly to seriously debate and consider the legalization of adult-use, recreational marijuana.

“We now know the majority of Pennsylvanians are in favor of legalization, and that includes me,” Wolf said. “I look forward to seeing what we can accomplish together, especially the criminal justice reforms I am proposing today, which will have an immediately positive influence on thousands of families across Pennsylvania.”