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.
If you are a candidate for public office in Pennsylvania and would like to participate in our series, please reach out to email@example.com.
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?
David Galluch (R), Running for U.S. Congress, District 5
As a candidate running for the United States Congress, I will not have the opportunity to vote on specific state-level legislation such as whether Pennsylvania legalizes recreational marijuana. However, I would support legislation in Congress that ends the federal marijuana prohibition. This would give states the power and flexibility to enact their own legislation regarding marijuana use free from federal interference. As it stands, this issue is best managed by each individual state as opposed to a top-down, big government approach.
A majority of both Republicans and Democrats believe marijuana should be legalized in some capacity for medical or recreational use. For many patients, medical marijuana serves as an important part of their therapy and pain management.
Furthermore, the cost of policing marijuana use is estimated to be nearly $8 billion nationally. With the rise in violent crime across major cities in the United States, including Philadelphia, our law enforcement officers are better served keeping violent criminals off the streets than policing marijuana use. With resources already stretched thin, I believe the legalization of marijuana would take an ample amount of pressure off law enforcement, allowing them to focus their time and resources on major crimes.
David Galluch’s opponent, Mary Gay Scanlon, chose not to respond.
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