The Lead

Attorney General Josh Shapiro says he supports legalizing cannabis

By: - September 27, 2019 4:34 pm

Attorney General Josh Shapiro answers questions from the House Appropriations Committee. (Capital-Star photo by Sarah Anne Hughes)

Attorney General Josh Shapiro is now in favor of legalizing cannabis, he said in a tweet Friday.

“After months of internal research & discussions with fellow law enforcement, I am in support of efforts to legalize, regulate and tax marijuana use for Pennsylvanians over the age of 21,” the Montgomery County Democrat wrote. “Continuing to criminalize adult personal marijuana use is a waste of limited law enforcement resources, it disproportionately impacts our minority communities and it does not make us safer.”

Shapiro’s announcement follows a similar one by Gov. Tom Wolf, who on Wednesday said for the first time he supports marijuana legalization and urged the Legislature to “seriously debate” the issue.

Wolf also called on the Legislature to decriminalize possession of cannabis — reducing the misdemeanor to a citation — and expunge the records of people previously charged with the crime.

Shapiro in February declined to tell the House Appropriations Committee what his position on legal cannabis was.

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Sarah Anne Hughes
Sarah Anne Hughes

Associate Editor Sarah Anne Hughes covers the governor and Pennsylvania's agencies. Before joining the Capital-Star, she was the state capitol reporter for Billy Penn and The Incline, and a 2018 corps member for Report for America. She was previously managing editor of Washington City Paper, editor-in-chief of DCist, and a national blogger for The Washington Post.