Lt. governor's marijuana legalization listening tour will visit Downington, State College, McConnellsburg, and Clarion this week.
Over the next few days, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman will be hearing constituents' views on marijuana legalization in four counties. If you live in any of those counties, try to stop by to make your voice heard.
Here are upcoming stops:
TONIGHT: Downington (Chester County)
Monday, April 15, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Downington High School West
455 Manor Avenue
State College (Centre County)
Tuesday, April 16, 7:30 to 9 p.m.
Penn State University
Hetzel Union Building, Alumni Hall
16802 Pollock Road
McConnellsburg (Fulton County)
Wednesday, April 17, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
McConnellsburg Volunteer Fire Hall
112 E. Maple Street
Clarion (Clarion County)
Thursday, April 18, 6:00 to 7:30 p.m.
Hart Chapel Building
Consider arriving early: In some cases, crowds have been standing-room only.
When deciding what you'd like to say, feel free to draw from our document on the Top 10 reasons to end marijuana prohibition or other materials. You may want to consider making a pitch for an inclusive, diverse industry, for allowing home cultivation, and for expunging past convictions.
Even if you're not up for speaking in public, you can still make your voice heard. Fetterman has been asking for a show of hands for supporters and opponents, and the governor's office is soliciting feedback on the issue online.
This is a great opportunity to build momentum for commonsense, humane marijuana laws. Don't miss your chance to let your elected officials 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.
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.