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Pennsylvania’s Lt. Gov.: Most Pro-Weed Politician In USA?

Fetterman regularly comes under fire from political opponents for flying a marijuana flag from his office in the Capitol

John Fetterman For Senate

Not many US Senate candidates sell campaign stickers featuring marijuana leaves. But Pennsylvania Lt. Gov. John Fetterman — perhaps the most pro-Cannabis politician in the United States — does exactly that.

Fetterman, 52, doesn’t seem particularly concerned about what other candidates do. After all, most other candidates usually aren’t sweatsuit-wearing 6’8” bald guys with tattoos, either.

“It’s high time that we get our sh*t together and legalize weed in PA + USA. More justice, jobs, revenue, and freedom,” the top-selling T-shirt’s description reads.

Fetterman regularly comes under fire from political opponents for flying a marijuana leaf flag from the lieutenant governor’s office in the state capitol building. He doesn’t care. He celebrated 4/20 in 2021 by appearing at a legalization rally on the statehouse steps.

https://twitter.com/johnfetterman/status/1371558177175638019?s=21

Wide Lead Over Primary Opponents

Fetterman supported legalization as mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, reports Politico. He also supported weed during his unsuccessful 2016 Senate campaign. In 2019, as the state’s second-in-command, he held a statewide listening tour on adult-use cannabis legalization.

Now, he enjoys a wide polling lead on opponents in the Democratic primary. This is despite suffering a minor stroke on Friday, knocking him off the campaign trail in the closing days before Tuesday’s election. Fetterman promises to elevate the issue on the national level if elected to the Senate.

Political strategists say a bold position on marijuana could be an important piece of a winning campaign. The Pennsylvania race will help determine control of the Senate. And progressives, don’t you know, respond quite well to Cannabis.

Voters don’t have to wonder where Lt. Gov. John Fetterman stands on the marijuana issue

Bringing New Voters To The Polls

Marijuana may do something crucial in a state where election margins are razor thin: bring new voters to the polls.

“You’re talking about a state that Joe Biden won by only 80,000 votes,” said Democratic strategist Mike Mikus. “So any people, new voters or people who … may have decided to sit out the election — if you bring them out because of this issue, that is how you win these campaigns.”

Mikus lives in Pennsylvania, but isn’t aligned with any candidate in the race.

It’s Making A Difference

Conversations with voters in Pennsylvania city suggest Fetterman’s pro-legalization stance is making a difference.

Casey Lofties, 25, from York, Pa., is a Southeast Pennsylvanian who will be voting for Fetterman on Tuesday. She said in an interview on Saturday that Fetterman’s support of marijuana was a major selling point for her.

“If [candidates] support marijuana, they’re more about the people,” said Casey Lofties, 25, of York Pa. “I feel like even though they’re older, that they’re still listening to the younger people who are eventually going to be making America, America.”

Cannabis On The Ballot Increases Voter Turnout

Cannabis on the ballot has increased voter turnout in past elections.

Washington state, for example, saw turnout among voters ages 18 to 29 more than double in 2012. That’s when adult-use marijuana legalization was on the ballot.

That age group represented 22 percent of the electorate in 2012. That compares with just 10 percent in 2008, according to a 2016 Brookings Institution analysis.

Candidate Lamb Prefers Slow, Cautious Approach

Fetterman’s bold stance on legalization stands in stark contrast to his most prominent challenger for the Democratic nomination, Rep. Connor Lamb. Former federal prosecutor Lamb was one of just six House Democrats to vote against federal legalization in December 2020. It gets worse; milquetoast Lamb ridiculed his colleagues in the House for even considering legalization during a pandemic.

He must have gotten some serious blowback from his constituents, though. When the bill came back up for another vote last month, Lamb flipped his vote.

“Where I may differ a little bit from my colleagues here on the stage is that I think it needs to be done slowly and very carefully,” Lamb said at an April 25 debate. He cited concerns for workers with potentially dangerous jobs and the inability to accurately test impairment.

The Lamb campaign didn’t respond to a request for comment.

60 Percent Of Pennsylvanians Support Legalization

Sixty percent of Pennsylvania voters support adult-use cannabis legalization, noted Berwood Yost. Yost is a pollster at Franklin & Marshall College’s Center for Opinion Research.

That number has almost tripled in the last 16 years. In 2006, support among Pennsylvania voters was just 22 percent.

Nationwide, support for legalization is even stronger. Polling consistently shows about two-thirds of voters want legal weed. Legalization has spread rapidly across the country over the last decade. Eighteen states now allow anyone at least 21 to consume ganja, and 37 have established medical marijuana markets.

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