Where Pennsylvania stands on legalizing weed in 2024
Pennsylvania remains unlikely to legalize recreational marijuana in 2024.
State of play: The political obstacles we told you about earlier this year slowing legalization in the Keystone State remain in place.
- Gov. Josh Shapiro supports legalization and Democrats who control the state House generally back it, with a handful of legislators putting forward proposals.
Yes, but: Democrats aren't united behind a single proposal and the Republican-controlled Senate would likely thwart any legalization effort.
- Kim Ward (R-Westmoreland), the party's top leader in the Senate, won't back legalization in Pennsylvania until the federal government ends cannabis prohibition, her spokesperson Erica Clayton Wright tells Axios.
Of note: Some Republicans publicly support the effort and there's a single bipartisan proposal to legalize cannabis in the state Senate.
The other side: "Given Josh Shapiro's support for this issue and [others] running out of legitimate reasons to stand against it … I think that 2024 could be the year," James Whitcomb, founder and CEO of national cannabis insurance company Frontier Risk, tells Axios.
By the numbers: 24 states and Washington, D.C., have legalized recreational cannabis use.
- That includes all the states around Pennsylvania except West Virginia.
What to watch: It remains to be seen whether legal weed will become an election issue next year.
- All state House seats are up for election in 2024, while half the state Senate will be on the ballot.
A recent survey shows that more than two-thirds of Americans support legalization.
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