HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) — A third state surrounding Pennsylvania legalized recreational marijuana during the 2022 midterm elections. With control of the state house set to change, could day laws in the commonwealth change next?
“I didn’t even think it was going to happen in my lifetime, honestly,” said Raquel Walker.
But there it was. Recreational marijuana has becomeearlier this year in New Jersey for someone like Walker, who says she’s been smoking weed for a long time, just not legally until now.
“Buying marijuana off the street, you never know what they have or what’s in it,” Walker said.
New York will join New Jersey by the end of this year and then Maryland by the middle of next year.
Among other states around Pennsylvania, Delaware has decriminalized but not legalized the possession of small amounts of weed.
Only Ohio and West Virginia, like Pennsylvania, did not go that far.
Not long ago, some would have been hard pressed to imagine a medical marijuana advisory board meeting that CBS Philadelphia attended in Harrisburg.
Among the highlights of the meeting are the number of people using medical marijuana is increasing, the price is coming down and now there is a new $50-a-month subsidy to help some low-income people use medical marijuana afford.
But recreational marijuana with a key Republican state senator supporting it?
“We need to act sooner rather than later to establish an adult recreational use program,” Sen. Republican state Rep. Mike Regan said.
With Democrats poised to take over the statehouse, cocoming to pennsylvania next?
“It’s really not at the top of our agenda,” Republican state Sen. Kim Ward, the state Senate President pro tempore-elect, said.
And the state Senate Democrats?
“It doesn’t have to be our top priority for us to get it done,” state Sen. Sharif Street said. “I think it’s a thing whose time has come and I think we’ll get it right”
House Democrats will control the agenda in that chamber, but that is will. No one knows how soon it will be, because their slim majority includes three vacant seats.
They are in heavily blue districts, but they may not be filled until after special elections as late as May of next year.