Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D) is making cannabis legalization a centerpiece of his campaign for retiring Sen. Pat Toomey’s (R) U.S. Senate Seat, according to Forbes. Fetterman, a 14-year mayor and “populous” candidate, says he did not have to “evolve” into supporting legal cannabis.
“It’s always been the right thing to do,” the Senate candidate said in an interview with Forbes.
“It never should have been illegal in the first place. This is a plant with no known medical overdose. This is a plant now that’s helped 350,000 people, just in my state alone, with their medical issues.” — Fetterman to Forbes
Fetterman has been working to reform cannabis laws in Pennsylvania since his election in 2018. In 2019, he embarked on a 98-day, 67 county tour town-hall tour with only cannabis on the agenda. Additionally, Fetterman, as chair of the State Board of Pardons has worked with Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf, to release dozens of non-violent cannabis offenders. Despite his efforts, however, the Lt. Gov. has been unable to advance adult-use cannabis legalization in the Republican-controlled state senate, but he tells Forbes the policy change is “inevitable.”
Removing cannabis as a Schedule 1 narcotic, reforming cannabis banking laws, and “mass expungement for every nonviolent offense”, are issues Fetterman says must be addressed at the Federal level. Commenting on the different paths to cannabis reform in Washington D.C., he said a group of Senators prefer to separate out decriminalization and other divisive issues from banking and insurance reform and other legislators like New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker (D) prefer a more comprehensive approach, Fetterman told Forbes.
“I support whatever gets it done. I’m not a purist in terms of the process. I just have always run on this and know that it’s something that needs to happen,” he said. “There isn’t one justification not to support it, other than this vestigial reefer madness, or just the toxic political culture of opposing what we want just for the sake of opposing it.”
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