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Race to Watch: Pennsylvania

Voters all over the United States will make their voices heard at the ballot box on November 6. The battle for the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate come down to just a few competitive races, so it’s more important than ever for cannabis professionals to be informed about the views of key candidates running for office. NCIA has compiled information about candidates running in 25 competitive races for the House of Representatives and three for the Senate that we consider uniquely important to the cannabis industry due to their views on marijuana policy and/or their geographic location.

House Races

District

1

Accoring to SwingLeft.org, in the last election, Republican Brian Fitzpatrick won this district by only 33,708 votes (8.9%). But Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in PA-01 by 2%. Now Democrat Scott Wallace, a philanthropist who helped get justice for veterans exposed to Agent Orange is running to unseat him. In a 2016 inteview, Fitzpatrick said that marijuana intended for medical purposes is fine, but that his career in law enforcement has molded his perspective that recreational marijuana should remain off-limits. In a 2018 interview, Wallace stated, "The state of Pennsylvania must consider full legalization of marijuana. I suggest the best route is to study the experience of the states that have already tried it, Alaska, Colorado, and so on. Study the impact. There has been a great influx of tax revenue from legalizing, regulating, and taxing. One of my first priorities would be to a proposed amending of the Federal Controlled Substances Act, where marijuana currently sits on schedule one, which is reserved for the most dangerous drugs with the highest potential for abuse and no conceivable medical use. I believe that marijuana should be moved to schedule five, which means it has the lowest potential for abuse and proven medical utility.”

Incumbent

Republican

Brian Fitzpatrick

Website

Candidate

Democrat

Scott Wallace

Website
NCIA-PAC Recipient

Grade:

N/A

Public support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high with 63% of voters supporting legalizing marijuana for adults and over 90% supporting legal access to cannabis for medical use. If elected to the 116th Congress, what federal legislation would you support relating to cannabis?

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Does this candidate have a voting record on cannabis issues from a previously-held office? If so, please describe:

N/A

Is there any other information we should know about the candidate and their views on cannabis policy? If so, please describe:

N/A

Grade:

N/A

Public support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high with 63% of voters supporting legalizing marijuana for adults and over 90% supporting legal access to cannabis for medical use. If elected to the 116th Congress, what federal legislation would you support relating to cannabis?

N/A

Does this candidate have a voting record on cannabis issues from a previously-held office? If so, please describe:

N/A

Is there any other information we should know about the candidate and their views on cannabis policy? If so, please describe:

N/A

District

7

According to SwingLeft.org, in this open seat race, Republican Marty Nothstein is trying to keep this seat red. But Democrats have nominated Susan Wild, the former city solicitor for Allentown, to win this seat where Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump by 1.1%. In October 2018, Nothstein said he fully supports medical marijuana, but “right now I cannot support legalizing marijuana for recreational use.” Wild responded to an NCIA candudate survey and stated, "For too long marijuana has been overcriminalized in this country. We must remove the drug as a Schedule 1 drug on the Controlled Substance list to allow researchers to better understand its effects, risks and benefits. We also need to ensure that veterans are able to receive medical marijuana at VA hospitals, as many veterans are currently denied use even where medical marijuana has been legalized at the state level (as is the case here in Pennsylvania). There is growing public support for marijuana legalization across the U.S. Legalization would also be a source of tax revenue for municipalities. And, the legalization of marijuana would make it safer to use. Thirty states have moved to reduce restrictions on marijuana, and 9 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for recreational use. It's long overdue that Congress rethinks its outdated federal marijuana policies. Finally, the war on marijuana use over the decades has disproportionately affected communities of color, particularly men, many of whom have been incarcerated for years for minor drug offenses. We must take corrective action to release and expunge the criminal records of such individuals."

Incumbent

Republican

Marty Nothstein

Website

Candidate

Democrat

Susan Wild

Website

Grade:

N/A

Public support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high with 63% of voters supporting legalizing marijuana for adults and over 90% supporting legal access to cannabis for medical use. If elected to the 116th Congress, what federal legislation would you support relating to cannabis?

N/A

Does this candidate have a voting record on cannabis issues from a previously-held office? If so, please describe:

N/A

Is there any other information we should know about the candidate and their views on cannabis policy? If so, please describe:

N/A

Grade:
A
Public support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high with 63% of voters supporting legalizing marijuana for adults and over 90% supporting legal access to cannabis for medical use. If elected to the 116th Congress, what federal legislation would you support relating to cannabis?

Legalizing, taxing, and regulating marijuana production and sales for adults over 21;Making marijuana legal for patients with certain medical conditions;Allowing states to determine their own marijuana policies;Legalizing of non-psychoactive hemp for industrial, food, and medical products;Making medical cannabis an option for veterans in the VA system

Does this candidate have a voting record on cannabis issues from a previously-held office? If so, please describe:

No, as I have never held elective office before. However, I have publicly stated my above positions in public forums on the campaign trail.

Is there any other information we should know about the candidate and their views on cannabis policy? If so, please describe:

For too long marijuana has been overcriminalized in this country. We must remove the drug as a Schedule 1 drug on the Controlled Substance list to allow researchers to better understand its effects, risks and benefits. We also need to ensure that veterans are able to receive medical marijuana at VA hospitals, as many veterans are currently denied use even where medical marijuana has been legalized at the state level (as is the case here in Pennsylvania). There is growing public support for marijuana legalization across the U.S. Legalization would also be a source of tax revenue for municipalities. And, the legalization of marijuana would make it safer to use. Thirty states have moved to reduce restrictions on marijuana, and 9 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the drug for recreational use. It's long overdue that Congress rethinks its outdated federal marijuana policies. Finally, the war on marijuana use over the decades has disproportionately affected communities of color, particularly men, many of whom have been incarcerated for years for minor drug offenses. We must take corrective action to release and expunge the criminal records of such individuals.

District

17

According to SwingLeft.org, in the last election, Democrat Conor Lamb won a stunning upset victory by just a 627 votes (0.2%). But now he's defending his seat in a redrawn district against Republican Congressman Keith Rothfus. Rep. Rothfus has voted against amendments related to CBD, veterans, medical and adult-use cannabis, and hemp. Lamb has stated that he supports medical marijuana.

Incumbent

Republican

Keith Rothfus

Website

Candidate

Democrat

Conor Lamb

Website

Grade:

N/A

Public support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high with 63% of voters supporting legalizing marijuana for adults and over 90% supporting legal access to cannabis for medical use. If elected to the 116th Congress, what federal legislation would you support relating to cannabis?

N/A

Does this candidate have a voting record on cannabis issues from a previously-held office? If so, please describe:

N/A

Is there any other information we should know about the candidate and their views on cannabis policy? If so, please describe:

N/A

Grade:

N/A

Public support for marijuana law reform is at an all time high with 63% of voters supporting legalizing marijuana for adults and over 90% supporting legal access to cannabis for medical use. If elected to the 116th Congress, what federal legislation would you support relating to cannabis?

N/A

Does this candidate have a voting record on cannabis issues from a previously-held office? If so, please describe:

N/A

Is there any other information we should know about the candidate and their views on cannabis policy? If so, please describe:

N/A