As Pennsylvanians closed out their Wednesday, Gov. Tom Wolf (D) took to Twitter to goad Republicans in the state legislature to do his bidding to “help businesses” in the state.
Instead of taking votes on meaningless bills, the Republican legislature should take action on my plan to help PA by providing child care and hazard pay funding, passing sick leave legislation, and legalizing adult-use marijuana to help businesses impacted by the pandemic.
— Governor Tom Wolf (@GovernorTomWolf) September 23, 2020
It’s not the first time Wolf has pushed this dubious connection between legalizing pot and helping businesses.
As Wolf was tweeting Wednesday, the Republican-controlled lege was voting to override Wolf’s veto on an outdoor sports spectator bill. The governor has limited spectators to 250 at most events. The override vote needed a two-thirds majority in the state House and failed after 25 Democrats switched their votes late in the game Wednesday. Arm-twisting and threats were undoubtedly involved behind the scenes to make those switches happen. It would be naive to think otherwise after the original bill sailed through with more than enough votes.
That’s not the focus of this post, but it’s relevant.
Wolf, like many Democrats and a smattering of Republican governors, has locked his state down hard. “Two weeks to flatten the curve” morphed into several months of job-killing and soul-destroying tyranny. It makes less and less sense as time grinds by.
Several counties and Republican legislators took Wolf to court in the pandemic’s early weeks. The court sided with the plaintiffs, ruling Wolf’s lockdown measures unconstitutional. That was mid-September. Since then, Wolf has continued to spar with Republicans over the lockdown.
And he’s pushing pot legalization, as a measure to “help businesses impacted by the pandemic.”
Come again, Governor?
How does that even make any sense? For that matter, how do any of the other policies he touted help businesses? Media scribes demonstrate no curiosity on this point, demonstrating their lack of business experience. Each one of Wolf’s ideas would place new unfunded mandates on businesses in the state. Those measures satisfy typical Democrat demands on businesses but do not in fact help businesses.
Democrats had pushed paid leave for several years prior to the pandemic, for instance. It’s not a new idea and most businesses oppose it as it would increase their costs.
As for pot…does it really help businesses to have more people smoking weed? It’s hard to see how. Pot has medicinal uses for some but it isn’t noted for improving drive or ambition. Legalization might — might — create a few jobs in a new pot industry, though that industry will have a tough time getting going in the current lockdown environment, and subjecting them to Wolf’s other mandates would provide friction they would have to overcome.
What’s the agenda here?
Some Pennsylvanians see an ulterior motive. Wolf could abdicate his pandemic throne and lift some or all of his lockdown measures whenever he wants. Pennsylvania’s COVID caseload has never been particularly high. It peaked months ago.
While Wolf has lifted some lockdown measures, others remain, such as the cap on outdoor sports activities. Why are any still in place, given the ruling and the state’s relatively light caseload, is a fair question. Another is what’s pot got to do with it?
With many politicians in both parties, it’s usually worth watching what the hand behind the back is doing while one hand gesticulates in the open to the rhythm of the pols’ rhetoric. They’re illusionists and the best of them are masters of distraction.
Wolf is no friend to the Second Amendment. Prior to the pandemic, he pushed the legislature to pass “red flag” legislation that would deprive Americans of their Second Amendment rights if they are suspected of being a threat or running afoul of existing gun laws. This is no abstract outcome. In Virginia, dozens of citizens have reportedly lost their gun rights due to “red flag” laws there, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch. That law has only been in effect since July 1 of this year. Would Virginia really have had 36 mass shootings, heinous crimes that have driven the push for “red flag” laws, since July 1 but for the interventions based on that law?
It’s a question worth asking. As for the answer, we have no idea! It’s unknowable by design.
Virginia law prohibits state police from releasing any details about those 36 orders, and the statistics the department provided do not include the localities where the orders were granted or the dates they were issued.
The same day Virginia’s Democrat-passed red flag law went into effect, another law went into effect: The legalization of pot.
It’s impossible, given Virginia’s law, to know why the 36 individuals were either temporarily or permanently banned from possessing firearms. It’s also unknown whether anyone there has been prevented from purchasing a firearm over pot use related to legalization.
Virginia used to have some of the most open gun laws in the nation. The Democrats took over and promptly took those right away.
It’s very possible to speculate what’s happening, especially given the Democrats’ open hatred for the Second Amendment.
It’s possible pot is involved because the federal statutes concerning pot have not changed even while the laws in several states have.
On September 21, 2011, the U.S. Department of Justice issued an open letter to federal firearms licensees — those are gun dealers — advising them that just because state pot laws have changed does not mean their role in firearm transactions have.
In fact, the state pot laws put more gun owners in potential jeopardy without them knowing it. The letter states:
How many Americans are aware of this? Few, I’d reckon.
In Pennsylvania, should Wolf get his way and state residents rush out to the nearest dispensary to introduce themselves to Mary Jane, they may at the same time be putting their Second Amendment rights at risk. They could also be subjecting themselves to red flag deprivation of their rights if they already own guns.
This threat is not theoretical. See: Virginia and its shroud over red flag enforcements since July 1.
We live in a time when Democrats are allowing rioters to destroy our cities while they arrest Christians for singing hymns in public.
We live in a time when a Democrat prosecutor apparently fabricated evidence to create gun charges against the McCloskeys for defending themselves and their property from protesters/rioters in accordance with Missouri’s castle law. Democrat prosecutors elsewhere are, and have been all year, letting violent rioters go and continue to riot and destroy property and threaten innocent lives and the fabric of the nation.
Democrats are saying “no option is off the table” to fight President Trump as he fulfills his constitutional duty to fill the vacant Supreme Court seat.
And media routinely let them get away with all of this.
Are Democrats really above using legislation that may be popular with one group to deprive another of its basic civil rights — when they openly despise that very civil right and those Americans who exercise it?