Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman called on President Joe Biden to
“It’s long past time that we finally decriminalize marijuana,” said Fetterman. “The president needs to use his executive authority to begin descheduling marijuana, I would love to see him do this prior to his visit to Pittsburgh. This is just common sense and Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support decriminalizing marijuana.”
As Pennsylvania’s lieutenant governor, Fetterman traveled to all of the state’s 67 counties in 2019 on a 98-day marijuana legalization listening tour, which found that a substantial majority of Pennsylvania residents favored legalization. Following the conclusion of Fetterman’s statewide tour, Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf announced that he supported legalizing marijuana in Pennsylvania.
A Longtime Supporter of Cannabis Policy Reform
Fetterman has supported cannabis reform since before he became mayor of the small Rust Belt town of Braddock, Pennsylvania in 2006. After he was elected lieutenant governor in 2019, he drew the ire of Republican lawmakers when he flew a marijuana leaf flag from his office balcony at the state capitol in Harrisburg in violation of state law. Unlike many other politicians, however, his support for cannabis reform is not a position he had to “evolve” into. Instead, he says “it’s always been the right thing to do.”
“It never should have been illegal in the first place. This is a plant with no known medical overdose,”
“The fact that this miraculous plant was ever illegal and Schedule I [of the Controlled Substances Act] by our federal government is a travesty, and it has ruined hundreds of thousands of lives,” he added. “And it should have never been the case.”
Fetterman Running for U.S. Senate
In May, Fetterman won the Pennsylvania Democratic primary election for U.S. senator, defeating U.S. Rep. Conor Lamb and state Rep. Malcolm Kenyatta in the process. In November, the outspoken candidate will face Mehmet Oz, the television personality known as Dr. Oz, in the general election for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated this year by Republican Sen. Pat Toomey. Both Fetterman and Biden are expected to appear at Monday’s Labor Day parade in Pittsburgh.
Earlier this month, Oz and the national Republican Party attacked Fetterman’s support for cannabis policy reform.
The criticism of Fetterman’s support for marijuana legalization comes despite Oz’s previous support for cannabis policy reform. In a 2020 interview,
In his statement on Monday, Fetterman hit back at Oz and the hypocrisy of his current stand against cannabis.
“I don’t want to hear any bullshit coming out of Dr. Oz’s campaign trying to conflate decriminalizing marijuana with seriously harmful crime,” said Fetterman. “Are we supposed to believe that neither he nor any members of his staff have ever used marijuana? As mayor of Braddock, I made it my mission to combat serious crime. I know firsthand what real crime looks like. Marijuana does not fit the bill. It’s time to end the hypocrisy on this issue once and for all.”