Recreational marijuana legalization would commercialize the sale of highly potent and addictive drugs that often are marketed to appeal to children and young adults.

(HARRISBURG, PA) – In response to today’s announcement by Governor Tom Wolf of his fall legislative agenda, which includes a push to legalize the commercial sale of marijuana for recreational use, the following statement may be attributed to Dan Bartkowiak, Director of Communications for the Pennsylvania Family Institute:

It’s extremely discouraging that Governor Tom Wolf would choose to push for legalizing the commercial sale of a dangerous and addictive drug that would cause even more harm to families and our healthcare system at a time when we’re trying to recover from COVID-19. Science and experience have shown us that recreational marijuana legalization is a bad idea as it creates an industry that commercializes and markets highly potent and addictive marijuana products that appeal to children and young adults – a demographic whose brain development can be significantly impacted by the use of marijuana.

Projected revenues from the commercial sale of recreational marijuana are often inflated. Colorado’s projected first-year revenue was $118 million yet only ended up with $67 million (57 percent). California saw only one-third of projected first-year revenues. Alaska saw only one-fifth. As said by Andrew Freedman, former Director of Marijuana Coordination in Colorado,

“You do not legalize for taxation. It is a myth. You are not going to pave streets. You are not going to be able to pay teachers. The big red herring is the whole thing that the tax revenue will solve a bunch of crises. But it won’t.”

Any talk of revenues must also include talk of expenses. Regulatory costs. Healthcare costs. Workplace safety costs. Added up, the expenses far outweigh any revenue with recreational marijuana legalization.

This push by Governor Wolf is not just bad timing, but irresponsible public policy. We urge Pennsylvania lawmakers to oppose the passage of any legislation that would legalize and commercialize recreational marijuana in our Commonwealth.

As schools are starting up, parents right now need real help for their families, not more to worry about.

For more on what science tells us with recreational marijuana, visit