The Future of Marijuana in PA

The Dom Giordano Program
October 11, 2018 - 4:55 pm

Montgomery  County Republican Todd  Stephens is a former prosecutor who was my guest yesterday to talk about his vote to decriminalize possession of small amounts of marijuana. Stephens sits on the Judiciary Committee and they voted across party lines to send the bill to the full  House. The bill would essentially trace the current law in Philadelphia, Harrisburg, and Pittsburgh.

Stephens told me he voted for it because it would clear low-level cases from clogged courts and save police from court time. I think the vote also reflects the idea that many Pennsylvanians want marijuana usage to be treated as a very minor offense.

I’m impressed with these representatives because they are reflecting where significant numbers of voters in Pennsylvania want to deal with marijuana. However, when I see this evolution my mind turns to the question of how we are still treating alcohol in a way that demands people go through hoops in order to possess it and enjoy it.

It’s amazing that voting to normalize marijuana is not seen as bold and courageous. However, it remains a herculean task to follow the example of the other 49 states and let adults buy alcohol in a convenient manner.  It seems to me that we will legalize marijuana before we get the state government out of the alcohol business.

This issue has not even surfaced in the governor’s race.  Alex Trebek didn’t even get into it in the bizarre debate he moderated.  I’m hoping that as the marijuana debate continues that we see some consistency in treating adults and their choices in a reasonable way.