They might share the same first name, but that’s one of the only things they have in common. Democratic gubernatorial challenger Tom Wolf and incumbent Republican Gov. Tom Corbett are on different sides of the spectrum on everything from pot to liquor to education. Over the next 10 days, Billy Penn will review 10 of the issues most important to young people heading into the Nov. 4 general election.
Naturally, we start with pot.
Gov. Tom Corbett (R):
Corbett was not always a supporter of medical marijuana but he says he was converted this May, after he talked to a few families, he said. However, this was not a full conversion — he actually supports the legalization of a specific marijuana extract called cannabidiol that is used to treat severe seizures in children. In this effort, Corbett joins lawmakers from such progressive states as Alabama, Florida and Utah — basically by legalizing the good things about pot without actually, you know, legalizing pot.
Indeed, Corbett is not a fan of legalizing other forms of marijuana. He sees it as a gateway drug and has said that he would veto any bills regarding its legalization. Of course if the FDA decided to recommend legalization, Corbett says he’d listen.
Corbett on pot:
Challenger Tom Wolf (D):
Wolf’s opinions on medical marijuana fall largely in line with what about 80 percent of Pennsylvanians think — he’s cool with it. In recent years there’s been a statewide push for medical marijuana bills to pass through the state legislature, especially as science points more and more to cannabis as a top therapy for children who suffer from seizures.
“What is motivating me is people I know with children with diseases that could be treated with medical marijuana. My goal is to create a system where they don’t feel like to go to another state to make their child whole,” Wolf told the Patriot-News in March.
In addition to the medical stuff, Wolf also supports decriminalizing small amounts of marijuana. This policy would fall in line with what Philadelphia implemented on its own — without state support. City Hall passed a pot bill essentially made it a little less illegal to have less than an ounce of weed on you.
That bill, which would implement $25 fines for having a small amount of pot, went into effect on October 20. (The fine quadruples to $100 to toke up in public, people.)