Corbett: Not tempted by Colorado's pot of gold

Gov. Corbett spoke at forum.
Gov. Corbett spoke at forum.
Posted: January 25, 2014

PHILADELPHIA Gov. Corbett said Thursday he is not tempted to change his opposition to legalizing marijuana by reports that Colorado expects a $70 million tax windfall this year from sales of the drug.

"Contrary to what some members of the [state] Senate view as 'recreational' marijuana, I don't believe it is recreational," Corbett said at the annual "Ask the Governor" forum sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.

"Marijuana is a huge gateway drug to the drug problems we have in this country," said Corbett, a career prosecutor before he became governor. "It leads to the abuse of many other drugs, including cocaine and heroin."

He was answering a question from 6ABC news anchor Matt O'Donnell, who interviewed him in front of several hundred business and community leaders in the auditorium of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University.

State Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery) has sponsored a bill to legalize recreational use of marijuana, a move that has won him acclaim from his party's left wing. Earlier this month, a Corbett spokesman appeared to suggest that the governor might agree to allowing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania - but the administration clarified that he would do so only if federal officials approve its medical efficacy, which seems unlikely.

At the Thursday event, Corbett also made his case for reelection, speaking of economic growth - 151,000 new private-sector jobs - and stabilization of state finances without new taxes.

"I was elected to do exactly what we have done," he said. "We were going to right the ship and point it in the right direction. We have done that. If the people of Pennsylvania decide that's not what they wanted me to do - and I said this when I was running [in 2010] - then I'm not going to get reelected. But I keep my promises."


 


tfitzgerald@phillynews.com

215-854-2718 @tomfitzgerald

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