And we’re back with Broad + Liberty’s Candidate Spotlight Series! Each week, we reach out to candidates all across the Commonwealth up for election to public office — an equal number of Democrats and Republicans; incumbents and challengers. We ask one question per week about public policy pressing to you. Those who choose to respond will have their answers shared on our website every Wednesday through Sunday.

Today, Pennsylvania’s nominees for Governor discuss recreational marijuana legalization.

If you are a candidate for public office in Pennsylvania and would like to participate, please reach out to

This week’s question: As of this writing, nineteen states have legalized the full recreational adult use of marijuana, and legislation has been presented in PA’s General Assembly to make it twenty. Would you support legislation to legalize recreational marijuana in Pennsylvania? Why or why not?

Josh Shapiro (D)

As Attorney General, I have worked hard to keep our communities safe and I’ve brought people together to create real solutions. As Governor, I will continue to bring community leaders and law enforcement officials together to make Pennsylvania communities safer and our criminal justice system fairer.

I know continuing to criminalize adult personal marijuana use is a waste of limited law enforcement resources, taxpayer dollars, disproportionately impacts minority communities, and does not make our communities safer — which is why I support legalization under key conditions. 

First, there must be a criminal justice component to legalization — those convicted for nonviolent possession of small amounts of marijuana must have their records expunged. Second, the marijuana industry must be regulated and taxed responsibly. Third, the rollout must be done in a way that attracts companies to Pennsylvania — creating good-paying jobs and growing our Commonwealth’s economy.

I’m not interested in subsidizing out-of-state companies to come in and make a quick buck off of Pennsylvanians’ backs. If we do that, marijuana legalization can lead to a fairer criminal justice system and a stronger economy for Pennsylvania.

Come back tomorrow to read the response from Josh Shapiro’s running mate, Austin Davis.

Doug Mastriano (R)

The Mastriano campaign chose not to respond.

Come back tomorrow to read the response from Doug Mastriano’s running mate, Carrie Lewis DelRosso.

Broad + Liberty is a nonprofit media endeavor dedicated to sharing voices and stories that are shut out of other media outlets. @BroadAndLiberty

7 thoughts on “Gubernatorial Candidate Spotlight: Marijuana Legalization”

  1. Agree with him or not, at least Shapiro respects the voters enough to answer the question. Where the heck is Mastriano? If I didn’t know better I would swear that he is being paid to throw the election.

  2. I agree with Frank. I lean Republican, but it seems like Mastriano is throwing the fight.

    I have no political experience, but could probably run his campaign better than the people handling it now. Hey Doug, call me!

    1. This is a good venue to express your platform on various issues, however it reaches readers only. Where’s Shapiro’s answer on the debate requests from Mastriano? If answered are they cheat-proof before or bucking the system with after early voting begins?

  3. I lean center-right. Mastriano is too extreme for me. Some of his beliefs and his acolytes are downright un-American. Shapiro is a moderate Democrat with a decent record.

  4. We should legalize marijuana for medical and personal use for 21 year olds and up and expunge records non voilent inmates for canbiss use stats legalize it for additional revenue to put into the state coffers. The state Illinois over a billion dollars to help relieve the burden on taxpayers.

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