As state officials face a lawsuit for the "draconian" measures they've invoked in response to the coronavirus, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) is calling for legislators to take up legalization of marijuana as a way of helping the state's economy.
Pennsylvania, like most states, is hurting financially from the COVID-19 pandemic and the government's response to the coronavirus.
"Now more than ever, we see a desperate need for the economic boost cannabis legalization can provide," said Governor Wolf at a press conference earlier this month. "I am proposing we legalize adult-use cannabis here in Pennsylvania, with a portion of the revenue going toward existing small business grants."
According to Gov. Wolf, "half of these grants would be earmarked for historically disadvantaged businesses, many of which have had difficulties attaining other assistance because of systemic issues." The other portion of the revenue will go toward "restorative justice programs that give priority to repairing the harm done to crime victims and communities as a result of cannabis criminalization."
Dan Bartkowiak, director of communications at Pennsylvania Family Institute, thinks this is an election season tactic to turn out the Democratic Party's base.
"It's not going to bring in what he's saying it's going to bring," Bartkowiak tells OneNewsNow. "Not one state [where marijuana is legal] has met their revenue projection, so the idea that we need money right now for this COVID-19 deficit crisis, it's not going to be this cash crop that they're thinking it is. And we're going to have all these health concerns."
Bartkowiak is also concerned about what commercialization of marijuana would mean to children, as many products are marketed in such a way that kids might consume or want to consume marijuana edibles.
The Institute spokesman further believes slapping taxes on marijuana products will result in a black market for marijuana in Pennsylvania, which already allows for medical marijuana.
Lt. Governor John Fetterman (D-Pennsylvania) also supports the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Meanwhile, a Judeo Christian law firm is challenging Pennsylvania's draconian and oppressive COVID-19 mandates.
The American Freedom Law Center (AFLC) has filed a civil rights lawsuit against Pennsylvania Gov. Wolf and other state officials challenging various restrictions that impose upon the fundamental liberties of Pennsylvanians during this declared pandemic.
The lawsuit was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania on behalf of four citizens who object to what they contend is the governor's unilateral exercise of power without any checks and balances from the General Assembly—the government body that is most responsive to the people.
"They've implemented this incredible draconian contact tracing program, where out of the blue you get a letter from the Department of Health demanding and ordering that you and your family remain quarantined for 14 days under onerous conditions," reports AFLC co-founder Robert Muise. "They can confine you to a location of their choosing if you don't go along with their program."
The lawsuit also challenges the mask mandate.
"These masks have become symbols of oppression," says Muise. "They presume that everybody is diseased, so rather than focusing on those who are susceptible … they impose it upon everyone. The mask has become a way for them to lord over every aspect of our lives in a way that makes this pandemic seem far more threatening and onerous than what it really is."
The lawsuit contends the mandates violate the First, Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the Constitution.