PHILADELPHIA – Fifteen states have now legalized the adult use of cannabis (aka marijuana, ganja, reefer, weed, etc.). While you were occupied with the November 3 election, four states, Arizona, Montana, New Jersey, and South Dakota legalized cannabis, joining the other eleven states and two U.S. territories where it was already legal.
Voters in Oregon State, where cannabis was legalized in 2015, went a step further and decriminalized heroin, cocaine, and "all drugs," a sentiment clearly stated in the Green Party platform. For many years the Green Party has called to "implement a step-by-step program to decriminalize all drugs in the United States."
"Drug legalization exhibits respect for the individual, fiscal responsibility on the part of the government, and progressive criminal justice reform," explained Tre Schumacher (Philadelphia), member of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) steering committee. "Legalizing drugs means less crowded jails and more free citizens contributing to society. It means fewer tax dollars spent on police raids, legal expenses, incarceration expenses, and other expenses associated with enforcing drug criminalization. Legalization means more investments, consumer spending, and tax revenue." Schumacher continued, "Although drug legalization is not police reform, it is policing reform. Drug legalization advances the way we define, think and treat law, crime, and the 'criminal mind.'"
"If drug use is a free choice, the state should have no right to encroach on individual liberty. If drug use results in addiction or destructive behavior, it should then be addressed by medical professionals, not by the state in the form of incarceration," said Tina Olson (Hellertown), organizer for the Lehigh Valley Green Party. "From the perspective of mental health professionals, the question of whether addiction is a moral debate or medical issue has been resolved. As addiction is now listed in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5), we have to look at it as an ongoing health condition. Jailing addicts and addicts-in-recovery is akin to imprisoning someone with schizophrenia. As we know from the history of mental institutions, that method is cruel and inhumane."
Chris Robinson (Philadelphia), co-leader of GPPA's communication team, said, "The voting public overwhelmingly agrees with the Green Party. A supermajority of U.S. voters (68 percent) said they supported legalization of cannabis in a Gallup poll in October 2020. A Harper Poll in May 2020, showed that 62 percent of PA voters supported legalization of cannabis, with majorities from conservatives, centrists and liberals. It is time for the PA General Assembly to act."
The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party's Four Pillars: ecological wisdom, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit www.gpofpa.org. Please follow GPPA on social media: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
For more information, please see:
Platform, Green Party of the U.S., II. Social Justice, H. Criminal Justice, Green Solutions, End the War on Drugs,
"National Poll Finds Overwhelming Support for Legalization" by Marie Edinger, December 1, 2020,
"Pennsylvania: Poll Shows Broad Support for Legalization," August 25, 2020,
"PA Cannabis Coalition Calls for Principle-Based Approach to Adult-Use Marojuana," June 14, 2020,
For Immediate Release
September 25, 2015
Jay Sweeney [email protected]
David F. Ochmanowicz Jr. [email protected]
GPPA welcomes Pope Francis to Pennsylvania
The Green Party of Pennsylvania welcomes His Holiness Pope Francis to our beloved Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. His much-anticipated visit to Philadelphia is a joy to so many.
In Pope Francis’s recent encyclical about climate change and the environment, Laudato Si’ (Praise Be to You), he has shown his passion to live up to his adopted papal name Francis, after the Christian patron saint of animals and the environment.
“Pope Francis shares many of the The Green Party of Pennsylvania’s values.” said GPPA Chair Jay Sweeney. “He is outspoken on social justice, environmental and economic issues that our party has been equally outraged over”, Sweeney concluded.
“Pope Francis’s encouraging words and efforts to address climate change, his implicit opposition to fracking, his care and respect for people of all nations and his criticism of the ‘cheerful recklessness’ of pure unregulated capitalism show that we share mutual goals in these important areas”, said GPPA Steering Committee member David Ochmanowicz Jr.
The Green Party of Pennsylvania is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. The Green Party of Pennsylvania stands for grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom.
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