NORML PAC Endorses John Hanger for Governor of Pennsylvania

At press conferences held in Philadelphia and Harrisburg on Wednesday, and one in Pittsburgh today, NORML PAC announced its endorsement of Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate John Hanger.

John Hanger is currently pursuing the Democratic nomination in the Pennsylvania gubernatorial race and has made marijuana law reform a central plank in his platform. He has released a three step plan for marijuana law reform that advocates for medical marijuana and decriminalization immediately upon taking office in 2015 and to move to full legalization by 2017.

At the press conference, NORML Communications Director Erik Altieri stated, “Hanger is the only candidate who isn’t afraid to openly discuss and campaign on a platform that calls for widespread reform of Pennsylvania’s marijuana laws. Since the start of his campaign, John Hanger has been a passionate and outspoken advocate of ending Pennsylvania’s war on marijuana and moving the state towards a smarter approach.”

In an interview with NORML conducted earlier this year, John Hanger stated his belief that marijuana law reformers can elect the next governor. “We can win this issue in May 2014, by my winning that primary,” Hanger said, “It will shock the political establishment and accelerate the changing of the laws by years in Pennsylvania and around the country. I believe Pennsylvania is seen as a bellwether. If marijuana reform can win in Pennsylvania, it can win anywhere.”

For more information on John Hanger’s campaign, you can visit his website or Facebook.

VOTER NOTE: Since the Republicans are running current governor Tom Corbett for reelection, there will only be a Democratic primary in this election which will be held in May 2014. To vote in this primary, you must be registered Democrat. You can change your party affiliation, then change it back, at any time by sending in a new voter registration application and marking “Change of Party” where given the option. More information on Pennsylvania voting can be found here.

29 thoughts

  1. Once again I find myself jealous, this time of Pennsylvanians. Here in VA, the man who just won our election as Governor, has yet to even publicly mention the word marijuana as far as I know… Big tobacco and private prisons hold a lot of weight here apparently.

  2. Regardless if I change party, just to vote or not, Pennsylvanians do not like Tom Corbett anymore. They actually want to see a change. It’s almost felt in the air. I probably will give thought to changing parties though, just to vote Democrat.

  3. Pennsylvania sure as hell needs the money. It’s the same old shit. You get a republican in office, here Corbett, and they underfund things they want to spin off and privatize for the corporate benefactors and run up debt, then a democrat has to come in and fix the mess, raising taxes to pay the debt or properly fund the programs republicans ran into the ground.

    Corbett has been an excellent pawn running the state’s economy into the ground. Now the state is ready for legal marijuana: medical, recreational, industrial hemp, the works. The state is in a position whereby the only way the Pennsylvania prohibitionists will legalize pot is if they have no other choice. Well, they have no other choice. Business and Wall Street should just shut the fuck up about keeping cannabis illegal. Shell is benefiting from a billion $ tax break, as are other businesses, so they are the recipients of corporate welfare, Pennsylvania’s corporate welfare queens. The cannabis revenues will cover the costs of running the state so that the public money, tax breaks or subsidies, can keep flowing to the corporate hogs feeding at the public trough.

  4. I’m a registered republican. im not switching parties to vote for Hanger. Im just going to do it. Americans need to understand that you do not need to vote according to the D or R on your voter registraition card. The only way this is going to happen is with bi-partisan support. In essence, we need to start voting with our brains instead of within our party. Lets bring back common sense. Many registered republican as my myself are actually libertarians. By crossing party lines on the vote, you take away the power of the left and the right and meet in the middle. Make sense? Boom! We now have a foundation for a 3rd party to blossom and get results that make sense on this issue.

  5. Unfortunatly, I think you’re right Miles. I myself am in Va, and I’m supremely jealous of recreational legal states. I sure hope the winds of change blow our way soon.

  6. Full legalization by 2017 sounds slow to me, but I agree vote for Hanger until any candidate commits to a better option. Lest he have to bring it up himself, here is an obvious way to change the discussion from distant “when” to immediate “how”: propose and promote Harm Reduction Equipment Reform.

    Draw up legislation offering leniency to cannabis users who have and use a vaporizer, pen-vape, e-cig or 25-mg Long-Stemmed One-Hitter INSTEAD OF H-ot B-urning O-verdose M-onoxide $igarette papers. Give a free one-hitter to every registered customer who buys marijuana (which must be sold freshly pre-sifted to 1/16th-inch particle size for best results VAPING in a screened one-hitter crater).

  7. @steve; in order to vote for John Hanger in the primaries, you must be a registered dem. If he wins the primary, then he will run against the incumbent Corbett.

  8. I will be changing my party affiliation to vote for Hanger in the primaries. Finally, some common sense in the commonwealth!

  9. @steve: I think you misunderstood what was being said. No one is saying you have to switch parties to vote for a particular candidate in a regular election, and no one is saying you have to be a registered Democrat to support marijuana legalization. That would be absurd, especially since MJ legalization has such strong bipartisan support–one of the ONLY issues that does right now, amazingly enough! 🙂 It’s true that you can vote for whoever you want regardless of your registered party affiliation. But you do need to switch parties to vote in the Democratic primary if you’re not a registered Democrat, at least in some states. You can’t usually “just vote” in party primaries. I’m pretty sure they won’t allow that. Hence the advice that you can switch parties just for the primary then switch back afterward.

  10. This is a primary election, NOT general election. You DO have to change your party to vote in the primary. If you are in PA please check your states voting procedures and try to vote in this primary! 🙂 Please. I’m not in PA or I surely would.

  11. I’ve never been much for allowing a single issue to drive my vote, but I’ll make an exception.

  12. A wise plan to legalization and the preparedness on sudden troll attack by those who benefit by keeping cannabis illegal.

  13. As a resident of Virginia that has written many times to various elected officials regarding marijuana laws, I usually get no reply or a form letter that basically states no way Jose!

    This letter, which I want to share, gives me a slight bit of hope for a better tomorrow here in big tobacco country.

    Here it is:

    Thank you for contacting me to share your thoughts on the legalization of marijuana. I appreciate hearing from you.
    The federal Controlled Substances Act prohibits the cultivation, distribution, and possession of marijuana. Despite the federal prohibition of marijuana, 18 states and the District of Columbia have effectively decriminalized marijuana that is used for medical purposes. In addition, the citizens of Colorado and Washington voted in a referendum to decriminalize the use of marijuana for recreational purposes.
    Should legislation come before the U.S. Senate to legalize marijuana, I will closely consider any legislation and the experience of the states as I weigh the impact it would have on the general welfare of all Virginians and Americans.
    Thank you again for contacting me.
    Tim Kaine

  14. @ Miles,
    Good work, brother! Keep up the good work! I pester (encourage) my Rep now and then. Am gonna do it again soon.

  15. Good for Hanger. Hope he beats the nutcase who currently has the job. I’m actually planning on moving to PA when I retire; hopefully the skids will already be greased.

  16. Best wishes to Mr. Hanger.

    In other news, there were 3 guys out behind a snow covered Pa. barn…
    Ted: Hey guys, have you heard of marijuana? What is that stuff?
    Red: That’s easy, the CSA says it’s a drug.
    Jed: Nah, THC is the drug. Marijuana is the other substance.
    Red: It ain’t a substance. It’s a plant.
    Jed: Nope. It says cannabis is the plant. Marijuana is the other substance.
    Red: What are you talking about, other substance?
    Jed: Here, watch closely. Whssssst… Loooook…
    Ted: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. I got it.
    Red: (cough) Yeah, right.

  17. Its all about the VOTE. I hate to say that we have the a short memory when it comes to politicians. When election time comes, all they have to do is smile real big, kiss babies and hug puppies. And everybody forgets what they really stand for and who they cater to. Start writing down names if you have to but remember who’s who and vote.


  18. It’s not enough to wait until November to vote for John Hanger. First, we have to make sure we nominate him in the Democratic Primary Election in May. This means we need to Register to vote as “Democrat” by early April.

    Three easy steps for non-Democrats to nominate John Hanger in the Democratic Primary Election:

    1. Register as a Democrat here:
    2. SHOW UP to Nominate John Hanger in May in the Dem primary election
    3. Change your registration back to your desired party before November and vote for whomever you want.

  19. I’m a war veteran who came home not too long ago. After I got out I wanted to become a nurse. While in nursing school I grew a single marijuana plant in my home. I needed the marijuana for PTSD since the plethora of pharmaceuticals they pumped with didn’t work.
    Ironically the day I received my degree in nursing the police were at my door.
    Got Felonies.
    Lost my nursing career.
    I also can’t ever get a decent job.
    Can’t vote either.
    All because of a marijuana plant.
    My whole life us ruined because of it.
    That’s not including the jail time and THOUSANDS of dollars in fines.

  20. John Hanger is getting my vote and support and he can put a billboard in my yard for free if he wants. I can save money on rx’s. Marijuana will let me get rid of 7 RX’s I currently take. Plus I’ll have no problem getting any permits needed to grow my own inside my home. Most place are 25-35 plants

  21. I too am changing from independent to Democrat this coming election. So far, Hanger is the best chance we have of seeing marijuana legalized in P.A. anytime soon. Honestly, I’m not going to stop medicating for anyone,and even if they do not classify me in need of such medicine, at least it’ll be there in some form for those who suffer greater than I do. Such as seizure disorders and the like.

  22. I’m changing my party affiliation from libertarian to democrat so that I can vote for Hanger in the primary. The libertarian candidate wants marijuana reform also but he stops at decriminalization, which doesn’t go far enough.

  23. To Steve, re: your Nov 15, 2013 comment.

    If Hanger doesn’t win the Primary election in May, you won’t have a chance to vote for him against Corbett.

    There are 8 Democratic candidates to beat in May, so that’s why people are changing their voter registration to democrat. That’s the only way you will be allowed to nominate John Hanger as the Dem candidate.

    After May, change your registration back to Republican, and vote for Hanger in the gubernatorial election in November.

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