– In response to Gov. Tom Wolf’s call to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes, Rep. Jerry Knowles (R-Berks/Carbon/Schuylkill) issued the following statement:
“I am shocked that the governor would promote recreational use of something that has been deemed by the federal government as a dangerous and illegal drug. Our state is in the midst of an opioid epidemic, and now he wants to make marijuana legal? Marijuana use should be strongly discouraged, not legalized. The governor’s desire to legalize is certainly not the right policy move for the people of this Commonwealth. I am strongly against easing regulations of illegal drugs, especially for Pennsylvanians who are battling drug addiction.
“My experience as a former local police officer has shown that legalizing marijuana will increase teen use and lead to more medical emergencies, including traffic deaths if motorists are driving while high. The amount of revenue generated from legalization falls far short of the cost in increased hospital visits, addiction treatment, environmental damage, crime, workplace accidents and lost productivity.
“Legalizing marijuana would put one more harmful substance in our society that costs far more than the revenue it generates. According to the Pew Research Center, the most frequently mentioned reason why people oppose legalization is that marijuana generally hurts society.
“Lt. Gov. John Fetterman held what he called listening tours throughout the state. I view those as selling tours. Why did he not include more feedback for the law enforcement and medical communities who have extensive experience in dealing with the impact of illegal drugs on communities and on our roadways?
“I am grateful that the House Republican Caucus has no plans or interest in legalizing recreational marijuana. In addition, I am hoping that no action will be taken to lessen penalties on this dangerous drug.”
For more information about this legislation, or any other legislative topic, contact Knowles’ district office in Tamaqua at 570-668-1240, or in Hamburg at 610-562-3411. Information can also be found online at RepKnowles.com
Representative Jerry Knowles
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Rick Leiner