Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania is elevating the ire of Republican lawmakers together with his selection of decor for the state capitol in Harrisburg. After hanging flags supporting hashish legalization and LGBTQ+ rights from his workplace balcony, legislators included a provision in a price range measure final month that specifies which flags could also be flown from the capitol constructing.
Beneath the laws, solely sure flags, together with the American flag, Pennsylvania state flag, and the POW/MIA remembrance flag, could also be flown on the state capitol. Fetterman’s Satisfaction flag and a banner emblazoned with a cannabis leaf aren’t approved.
A spokesperson for Republican Home Majority Chief Kerry Benninghoff wouldn’t verify that the brand new guidelines have been handed due to Fetterman’s flags, saying solely that “it has to do with offering for uniformity and decorum for what’s displayed on the surface of the Capitol.”
When a reporter knowledgeable Fetterman of the brand new legislation, he stated he wouldn’t be taking the flags down till lawmakers handed laws guaranteeing protections from office discrimination on the idea of sexual orientation or gender identification in addition to a invoice to legalize the leisure use of marijuana for adults.
“I’d be delighted to take them down if they provide us that,” Fetterman stated. “That’s the explanation I’m flying them.”
However to this point, Republicans within the state legislature have blocked progress on each points, so Fetterman flies the LGBTQ+ flag in June for Satisfaction Month and the pot leaf flag all yr.
“Are they going to ship the homosexual pleasure police to return and seize them? I didn’t know we had that division within the state police,” Fetterman stated.
Lt. Gov.’s Op-Ed Slams Dems Stance On Weed
Fetterman’s assist for marijuana legalization has additionally garnered consideration on a nationwide stage. In an op-ed revealed by the Washington Publish this week, Fetterman decried the Democratic Get together’s stance on hashish coverage reform. After asserting assist for authorized hashish companies in 2016, this yr’s celebration platform appeared like a step backward to many. Democrats now take a much less progressive stance that favors letting states take the lead on legalization, a place extra palatable to President-elect Joe Biden.
“One group doesn’t appear to be maintaining: the Democratic Get together. Its platform on weed is now formally and politically to the precise of the state of South Dakota,” Fetterman wrote, referring to the midwestern state’s legalization of adult-use hashish in final month’s election. “I’m within the camp that claims that when you’re to the precise of South Dakota on something, you must use that as a second to recalibrate your core values.”
“Democrats’ historic and present platform on weed is cowardly and on the fallacious aspect of historical past,” he continued. “Now we have recognized for many years that Black and brown communities are disproportionately prosecuted and harmed, however the federal authorities and plenty of states haven’t finished something to cease it.”
In his closing, Fetterman famous that many are convicted of minor marijuana offenses whereas a lot riskier conduct is allowed underneath state legislation.
“In Pennsylvania and in most states, it’s completely authorized to get up within the morning, smoke a carton of Marlboros, chug a fifth of vodka, take a pinch of Copenhagen, pop an OxyContin and gamble away your whole life financial savings in a state-approved on line casino,” Fetterman wrote. “However get caught with marijuana, and also you’re branded a legal for all times.”