If there was any doubt that Tom Wolf was decided to make marijuana legalization a actuality this 12 months, the Pennsylvania governor put that to relaxation on Wednesday.

In a pair of tweets, Wolf reiterated his name to finish prohibition on grownup leisure pot use within the Keystone State, saying the income generated could possibly be essential in restoring the economic system that has been battered by the pandemic.

“I wish to see Pennsylvania start the method to legalize adult-use marijuana this 12 months,” Wolf said Wednesday morning. “The income from this measure could be used to assist us get better from COVID. Plus, it’s previous time that we restore justice to these harmed by marijuana criminalization.”

He followed up that tweet with one other by which he inspired constituents to inform legislators “you wish to sustain with different states and legalize adult-use marijuana.”

The Hashish Standing in Neighboring States

The reference to different states was well timed, in that two of Pennsylvania’s neighbors—New Jersey and New York—are additionally taking steps towards legalization. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced plans in January to introduce a “a proposal to legalize hashish and create an equitable adult-use hashish program in [New York state]” that he stated would “generate much-needed income, whereas permitting us to help these which have been most harmed by many years of failed hashish prohibition.”

Over in New Jersey, in the meantime, lawmakers have been ironing out particulars of a invoice to implement a regulated marijuana program after voters within the state handed a measure final 12 months legalizing leisure pot.

Like Cuomo, Wolf announced his intention to pursue legalization in a January tackle that outlined his legislative priorities. As he did on Wednesday, Wolf drew consideration to the actions of Pennsylvania’s neighboring states.

“Now as our neighbors transfer towards legalizing leisure marijuana, Pennsylvania can not afford to be left behind,” Wolf said in an announcement on the time. “Legalizing adult-use hashish has robust bipartisan help amongst Pennsylvanians. The income generated from legalization might be used to help traditionally deprived small companies by means of grant funding and supply them the help they should construct again from the financial disaster and strengthen our economic system. Moreover, a portion of the income will help restorative justice applications to assist the people and communities which have been adversely harmed by the criminalization of marijuana.”

It’s a change in tune for Wolf, who in 2017 said that Pennsylvania wasn’t able to legalize leisure pot use. 

The financial fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic could immediate lawmakers to think about legalization as a method of mitigating income shortfalls introduced on by lockdown measures. Wolf made heavy reference to that in his speech in January.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has basically modified Pennsylvania and exacerbated current boundaries for too many Pennsylvanians. It continues to have destructive penalties for companies, staff, and households all through the commonwealth,” Wolf said. “To get Pennsylvania again on observe from the disruptions the pandemic is inflicting, we have to make main, focused investments to strengthen our economic system, help staff and small enterprise house owners, rebuild our infrastructure, and assist all Pennsylvanians construct a path to monetary safety.”