Gov. Corbett said Thursday that he is not tempted to change his opposition to legalizing marijuana by reports that Colorado expects a $70 million tax windfall this year from sales of the drug in that state.
"Contrary to what some members of the senate view as 'recreational' marijuana, I don't believe it is recreational," Corbett said during the annual "Ask the Governor" forum sponsored by the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce.
"Marijuana is a huge gateway drug to the drug problems we have in this country," Corbett said. "It leads to the abuse of many other drugs, including cocaine and heroin."
Corbett made the comments in response to a question from Matt O'Donnell, morning anchor of Channel 6 News, who interviewed the governor in front of several hundred business and community leaders in the auditorium of the Academy of Natural Sciences.
State Sen. Daylin Leach (D.,Montgomery) has sponsored a bill to legalize recreational use of weed, a move that has won him acclaim from his party's left wing. Earlier this month, a spokesman for Corbett appeared to suggest that the governor might agree to allowing medical marijuana in Pennsylvania, but then the administration clarified that he would do so only if the FDA approved its medical efficacy, which is highly unlikely.
In the wide-ranging interview with O'Donnell, Corbett made his case for reelection, speaking of economic growth – 151,000 new private sector jobs – and stabilization of state finances without raising taxes.
"I was elected to do exactly what we have done," Corbett said. "We were going to right the ship and point it in the right direction. We have done that. If the people