House Republicans have “no plans or interest” in legalizing recreational marijuana in PA

Republicans are firing back after Governor Tom Wolf expressed his support to legalize recreational marijuana and called on the General Assembly to debate it.

In a statement, House Republican leadership said "our caucus has no plans or interest in legalizing recreational marijuana."

Read the full statement here.

This statement was also released from the office of the majority leader, Sen. Jake Cornman:

Our focus has been and will continue to be on the health of the medical marijuana program in the state and the law we put in place to help chronic ailments. At this time, we are not convinced that legalizing marijuana will not have a negative impact on that.

House Republicans said promoting recreational use sends a terrible and misleading message to many Pennsylvanian's who are beginning to utilize cannabis-derived medicines to treat illnesses, as the state's medical-marijuana program is in its infancy.

House Republican leaders added, "We are disappointed the listening tour did not give more attention to the voices of police, emergency medical service providers and other first responders who have extensive experience in dealing with the impact of illegal drugs on communities and on our roadways. Increasing access to recreational marijuana use presents a multitude of public safety concerns."

FOX43 also spoke to State Representative Paul Schemel of Franklin County, who called legalization 'bad policy," adding marijuana is a performance degrading drug that has addictive qualities.

He also said the 67-county listening tour held by the Lieutenant Governor is not a poll and it can naturally draw people who are already in support of legalization.

"A responsible listening session would be one where you present both sides and explain these are the pros and these are the cons," he said. He added, "these sessions were really designed to do what the Lt. Governor has always promoted, which is legalizing this drug."

But he reminded everyone, Republicans are in favor or medical marijuana, which is already legal in Pennsylvania.

"Republicans obviously have demonstrated support for medical marijuana and if we need to make medical marijuana more available for people, you know, we're interested in that," said Schemel.

Watch the report to hear more of Schemel's comments on the issue.

Read the Governor and Lt. Governor's response here.

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