Let's keep up the momentum.
Gov. Tom Wolf (D) has also begun accepting online input on whether the state should legalize marijuana for adults' use. Submit your thoughts here.
You can let the governor know the reasons why you support making marijuana legal, and make a pitch for an inclusive, diverse industry. Let him know if it's important to you that legalization include expunging past convictions.
Please also make a plan to attend one of the lieutenant governor's stops on his listening tour, which will include all 67 counties. Here are his upcoming stops:
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Jefferson Educational Society
3207 State Street
Tomorrow, Saturday, February 16, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Warren Public Library, Slater Room
205 Market Street
Washington (Washington County)
Monday, February 18, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
59 E. Strawberry Avenue
Waynesburg (Greene County)
Tuesday, February 19, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
51 W. College Street, Waynesburg
New Bloomfield (Perry County)
Wednesday, February 20, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
New Bloomfield VFW
71 Soule Road
(This is in lieu of a stop this past Tuesday that was postponed due to winter weather.)
Dubois (Clearfield County)
Thursday, February 21, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Penn State Dubois Auditorium
1 College Place
Port Royal (Juniata County)
Sunday, February 24, 2:00 to 3:30 p.m.
Friendship Fire Co. No. 1
212 W. Fourth St.
Johnstown (Cambria County)
Tuesday, February 26, 6:00. to 7:30 p.m.
Pennsylvania Highlands Community College
101 Community College Way
Meadville (Crawford County)
Wednesday, February 27, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
549 Park Avenue
Consider arriving early: The Mechanicsburg stop was standing-room-only, and some people were turned away because the space was at capacity.
This is a great opportunity to build momentum for commonsense, humane marijuana laws. Don't miss your chance to let the governor and lieutenant governor know it's time to stop branding Pennsylvanians criminals for a substance that's safer than alcohol. And please spread the word to help grow the chorus for reform.
In the past two months, the conversation about whether Pennsylvania should legalize and regulate marijuana for adults has picked up steam.
In December, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) said the state should take a "serious and honest look" at legalization. Then, in January, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman announced a statewide listening tour on legalization that begins today in Harrisburg.
The first stops on his tour are:
Harrisburg, Dauphin County
Tonight, Monday, February 11, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Jewish Federation of Greater Harrisburg, 3301 N. Front Street
Newport, Perry County
Tomorrow, Tuesday, February 12, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Newport Public Library, 316 N. 4th Street
Mechanicsburg, Cumberland County
Wednesday, February 13, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
American Legion Post 109, 224 W. Main Street
Saturday, February 16, 11:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Jefferson Educational Society, 3207 State Street
Saturday, February 16, 3:00 to 4:30 p.m.
Warren Public Library, Slater Room
Stay tuned for more stops: The lieutenant governor plans to visit all 67 counties on his tour. You can also check out stops on his Facebook page.
Before you attend, check out our background materials — such as the top 10 reasons to regulate cannabis and a snapshot of how things are going in Colorado and Washington six years into legalization. You can draw from our materials as you make the case for a more humane approach to cannabis.
In other exciting news, Rep. Jake Wheatley (D) and 26 cosponsors introduced a bill to relegate cannabis prohibition to the dustbin of history. Change will not happen overnight, given the opposition of legislative leaders. But with time and effort, we can end prohibition in the Keystone State.
So make your voice heard: Write your lawmakers in support of legalizing and regulating cannabis, and plan to speak out during the statewide listening tour. And don't forget to spread the word to other thoughtful Pennsylvanians.
Last week, the Erie, Pennsylvania, City Council voted unanimously to make the possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana into a summary offense with a $25 fine. Currently, the penalty is up to 30 days in jail, a $500 fine, or both. The mayor is expected to sign the measure into law.
Once enacted, Erie will join Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, York, and State College — and 22 states and the District of Columbia — all of which have stopped jailing individuals for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Across the state, towns and cities are considering similar commonsense policies. Unfortunately, however, law enforcement can still enforce state law and impose criminal penalties and possible jail time.
Imprisoning individuals for possessing small amounts of a substance that is safer than alcohol wastes valuable resources and can lead to a lifetime of harsh consequences, including denial of student financial aid, housing, employment, and professional licenses.
To get involved locally, contact the Keystone Cannabis Coalition. You can find some background materials on decriminalization here. And please let your lawmakers know it is time for statewide decriminalization.