Marijuana legalization advocates allowed themselves to be arrested by Pennsylvania park rangers, who were on hand at the protest.
Marijuana legalization advocates were arrested at a “Smokedown Prohibition” protest in Philadelphia, while pro-pot Pennsylvania Gubernatorial candidate John Hanger decried the shameful waste of taxpayer money on arresting marijuana smokers.
“As a taxpayer,” said Hanger, “I’m tired of paying $350 million in Pennsylvania to enforce these unjust laws while we’re closing libraries and schools right here in the city of Philadelphia. Shame!”
Read more: D.C. Marijuana Efforts Move Forward
Hanger’s presence at an event where people purposefully go to brazenly smoke marijuana in public is a sign of the times. More and more, candidates are openly declaring themselves pro-pot. Instead of the buttoned up posturing that we’re used to on marijuana legalization, in which candidates only talk about it when asked, fringier candidates are seeing if they can leverage the growing public support for marijuana legalization. New York City Mayoral candidate John Liu made marijuana legalization a central part of his platform, and he placed fourth in the primary. Not quite a threat, but his 45,000 votes were 50% more than that of Joe Lhota, the leading Republican candidate.
It’s about a year before we can make any definite statements about Hanger’s chances, but it’s becoming clear that marijuana legalization is creeping up the ladder of respectability, following the path of medical marijuana and the ballot propositions that legalized recreational marijuana in Colorado and Washington State.