At the inauguration of Pennsylvania’s new governor on Tuesday, musicians like rapper Wiz Khalifa performed as guests toasted the new administration.
The A-listers who showed up to support Democratic governor Josh Shapiro (incl. For instance, when indie band Mt. Joy’s lead singer Matt Quinn completed singing “Astrovan,” he made light of the song’s lyrics’ potential political connotations.
“We’re singing songs about doobie-smoking Jesus and Wiz Khalifa is also on the show,” Quinn was quoted as saying by PennLive. “There may be some programmes that we’d want to see implemented.”
Wiz Khalifa, on the other hand, didn’t exactly tiptoe around the subject when he said, “I’m about two things, peace and love. Also, those of you who are of legal smoking age, light up!
the rapper said this after playing his signature song “Young, Wild, and Free.” Strangely, the singer did not include the song’s most recognisable lyric, which goes “so what we smoke pot,” as reported by PennLive.
To be clear, Shapiro is in favour of legalisation and has been advocating for it since before he ran for governor. Even if you’re over 21, it’s still against the law in Pennsylvania to light up some ganja.
Pennsylvania should follow its neighbours and legalise marijuana because, according to the former attorney general, doing so would be good for the state’s economy.
It may come as a surprise to some that Shapiro like some of Khalifa’s music, but he recently told PennLive that he was looking forward to being sworn in as governor and listening to his music. That’s exactly my style, man. Perhaps one develops a taste for it over time.
Whether or not the legislature is ready to take action on cannabis in the upcoming session remains to be seen, especially in light of the lingering uncertainty regarding the makeup of the legislative body, which saw Democratic advances in the most recent election but issues in the weeks since. Since Election Day, two Democratic members have resigned to take other seats, and one has passed away.
Former Democratic Governor Tom Wolf attempted to persuade lawmakers to alter the law but to no success. During his time in office, Wolf granted 2,540 pardons, at least a fifth of which were for persons with past marijuana offences.
Wolf’s overall clemency comprises 395 people who were part of an expedited review process for nonviolent marijuana-related offences and 232 persons who qualified for relief via a cannabis-specific pardon scheme that the state-sponsored late last year.
Though the pardons would help thousands of Pennsylvanians, “the only lasting relief will come when our Republican legislature finally decides to do the right thing and legalise it,” said former Lt. Gov. John Fetterman (D), who was sworn into the U.S. Senate this month and previously served as chair of the state Board of Pardons (BOP).
The outgoing lieutenant governor had already stated his intention to grant cannabis clemency to as many people as possible before leaving office.
Meanwhile, in Pennsylvania, officials announced last month that they will be distributing about $19 million in grants, largely funded by medical marijuana tax income, to assist individuals working in the field of substance abuse treatment with the cost of their education.