A Democratic challenger to Governor Tom Corbett says Pennsylvania should reform its marijuana laws.
John Hanger said medicinal marijuana should be permitted, and penalties for
possessing small amounts of marijuana should be reduced to a summary offense similar to a
traffic ticket by 2015.
He said Pennsylvania should regulate and tax marijuana use by 2017.
Hanger announced his plan during a news conference at the state Capitol.
He said Pennsylvania is spending $325 million a year prosecuting non-violent people for possessing marijuana, when regulating and taxing marijuana could bring the state at least $24 million a year.
Hanger was secretary of the state Department of Environmental Protection for three years under Governor Ed Rendell. He is among a field of Democrats seeking the gubernatorial nomination next year.
other candidates are U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, former Revenue
secretary Tom Wolf, former DEP secretary Kathleen
McGinty, Lebanon County commissioner Jo Ellen Litz, and Mechanicsburg minister Max Myers. State Treasurer Rob
McCord is also exploring a bid.