A tour of Pennsylvania counties has revealed the majority of residents are in favor of legalizing marijuana. Governor Wolf also supports legalizing recreational marijuana, but the measure must pass through the house and senate before reaching his desk.
Some people aren't convinced it will happen this year *or* next, and some lawmakers say the support isn't there. News 13s Dominic Barone reports.
"It has to come up on the floor for a vote. So even if there were the votes, if the leaders on both sides don't want it. It doesn't come up for a vote either." said Senator Mario Scavello.
Pennsylvanians shouldn't hold their breath when it comes to legalizing marijuana. He said there's not enough republicans, including himself, on board with voting in favor if there's even an opportunity for a vote at all. The house of representatives and senate are republican majority, but even if it were balanced, Scavello doesn't think there's enough democrats willing to vote for it.
"But I don't think you have every democrat also. You have some moderate democrats where it wouldn't play well in their districts."
Other than allowing dispensaries, some other senators have proposed allowing people to grow up to ten plants on their property. Erika Perlaki thinks it's too much too soon for both parties to agree on.
"I think they need to find a happy medium with that." Perkali said, "Maybe not everybody could grow it. Because what's the point? you're not really selling it. You're growing it for yourself, so what's the point?"
Rasheed Swinton is concerned about all the people who are in jail or with fines because of what may soon become fully legal. He'd like for a plan to be in place for non-violent marijuana offenders first.
"I feel like there's too many people that are currently incarcerated before it, and there would be a lot of reparations that would need to be handed out." He said, "They have to figure that part out before it would be legalized."
Since it seems it might take a while to get through the house and the senate, Senator Scavello said he'd be open to the possibility of a referendum question on a voting ballot.
Swinton said, "Ultimately, it's the people who are supposed to be able to decide. That's the principle that this country was built on."
Both Swinton and Perlaki agree we need to know if every-day Pennsylvanians want this or not.
Perkali said, "You also need to figure out how many yes's how many no's. If you get more no's than yes's then you need to reevaluate and think about it. If you get more yes's, you also want to know how many people are going to be willing to pass this and vote for it and actually purchase marijuana."