Editorial: The peer pressure of legalizing marijuanaPosted by On

When it comes to vices, Pennsylvania is not the kind of state that tends to be on the cutting edge.

Sure, the Keystone State doesn’t shy away from a little wicked fun. It’s a place where people enjoy their alcohol. There are more than 350 breweries, 300 wineries and 40 distilleries calling it home. Before the casinos opened up, the Pennsylvania Lottery had been giving a gambling fix since 1971.

But while residents seem happy to indulge in some risky behavior — and the state is always more than willing to profit from it — Pennsylvania always seems to let someone else test the water first.

It happened with gaming. It happened with liquor.

It has definitely happened with marijuana. States such as California and Colorado first test drove the ideas of medical cannabis and then greenlighted weed for recreational use.

Pennsylvania has stood back and watched as details and pitfalls have been worked out and as more states have joined in. The Keystone State legalized medical marijuana in 2016, with the first sales starting in 2018. It was the 24th state to take that step — about as close to the middle of the pack as possible.

The recreational step seems all about inevitable. Legalization has been a frequent talking point for Gov. Tom Wolf and Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who has also noted his support for federal legalization.

As of last week, 21 states, the District of Columbia and the territory of Guam have legalized recreational use since Colorado first took that step in…

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