Democratic Lt. Gov. John Fetterman of Pennsylvania is elevating the ire of Republican lawmakers together with his alternative 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 funds 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 Delight flag and a banner emblazoned with a cannabis leaf will not be approved.
A spokesperson for Republican Home Majority Chief Kerry Benninghoff wouldn’t verify that the brand new guidelines had 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 regulation, he mentioned 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 offer us that,” Fetterman mentioned. “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 Delight Month and the pot leaf flag all yr.
“Are they going to ship the homosexual delight police to come back and seize them? I didn’t know we had that division within the state police,” Fetterman mentioned.
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 printed by the Washington Publish this week, Fetterman decried the Democratic Celebration’s stance on hashish coverage reform. After asserting assist for authorized hashish companies in 2016, this yr’s social gathering 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 Celebration. 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 should you’re to the precise of South Dakota on something, it is best to use that as a second to recalibrate your core values.”
“Democrats’ historic and present platform on weed is cowardly and on the mistaken aspect of historical past,” he continued. “We’ve got identified for many years that Black and brown communities are disproportionately prosecuted and harmed, however the federal authorities and plenty of states haven’t carried out something to cease it.”
In his closing, Fetterman famous that many are convicted of minor marijuana offenses whereas a lot riskier habits is allowed below state regulation.
“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 total life financial savings in a state-approved on line casino,” Fetterman wrote. “However get caught with marijuana, and also you’re branded a felony for all times.”