SCRANTON, Pa. -- The push to legalize marijuana for recreational use in Pennsylvania is picking up steam. Some are against the move, but polls suggest a majority of Pennsylvanians support the idea.
One group from Lackawanna County plans to take its fight to state leaders soon.
Pennsylvania legalized medical marijuana nearly two years ago, but now, the possibility of legalizing it for adult recreational use brought together supporters in Lackawanna County Saturday night. They worked on a strategy for when the state's lieutenant governor goes on a 67-county listening tour regarding legalizing recreational marijuana.
"We are finding that it is not only safe, but really beneficial to a lot of people," said Eric Miller, Advocate Allentown.
Pennsylvania Lieutenant Governor John Fetterman plans to kick off a listening tour about legalizing marijuana this coming week, and those in the pro-cannabis community are getting together to fight the stigma. They met at Big Yield Hydroponics in Scranton Saturday night.
"It just happened that I was able to have access to it, and I was very against it. I was like, absolutely not. I will be a terrible mother. That would make me a bad person," said Lacie Walker of Clarks Summit.
Walker suffers from chronic pain and treats it with medical marijuana. Despite her initial concerns over marijuana in general, Walker tells Newswatch 16 she comes to these types of conversations to help fight misunderstandings about the drug.
"I tried it, and within five minutes tears were welling in my eyes and I had no pain, and it was like the first time. I had no pharmaceuticals that did that other than fentanyl when I was in the hospital," Walker said.
While Pennsylvania has a medical marijuana program in place, a proposed bill in Harrisburg would make recreational use legal for adults as well. Advocates say this will make it safer for those who choose to use it legally.
"The legalization of it will regulate it and make it safely available to the people who are using it already anyway," said Eric Miller, marijuana advocate.
Not everyone is in favor of legalizing cannabis. Some viewers took to our Facebook page questioning its safety around children and saying that there already enough drug and alcohol problems.
Those at the Big Yield Hydroponics meeting plan to attend Lt. Gov. Fetterman's listening tour when it comes to our area in the hopes that their stories could change the minds of others.
"It's just given me my whole life back, and I feel like if it was legalized recreationally, more people could experience that because it's like yoga. It's not a terrifying scary thing. It's like aspirin," said Walker.
The lieutenant governor's listening tour starts Monday going from county to county. The dates for the stops in our area have not yet been announced.