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As Attitudes On Recreational Marijuana Change, Policies Are Slow To Catch Up

Ted S. Warren
Lt. Gov. John Fetterman is embarking on a listening tour across Pennsylvania to learn more about Pennsylvanians' attitudes towards recreational marijuana legalization.

Discrepancies between state and local laws in Pennsylvania have led to a battle of discretion in the way marijuana-related charges are applied. Police officers can still charge people for possession of the drug, but prosecutors are increasingly unwilling to pursue these cases. 

In the meantime, Lt. Gov. John Fetterman has embarked on a listening tour across the commonwealth to better understand the attitudes of Pennsylvanians towards marijuana. He'll then take that information back to the legislature, but it's not clear what impact it will have. 

Hear a discussion about these discrepancies and evolving perspectives on the legalization of recreational marijuana from:

Credit Kyle Rucker / Courtesy of Dan Ruth
Dan Ruth is a New York comedian originally from Johnstown, PA. His show "A Life Behind Bars" plays at the Carnegie Stage Jan. 31 through Feb. 2.

Elsewhere in the program, actor, writer and Johnstown native Dan Ruth first moved to New York City more than 20 years ago. Since then he's struggled with alcoholism and had a front row seat to the gentrification of his Brooklyn neighborhood. His new autobiographical comedy, "A Life Behind Bars," is a light in the dark, according to Ruth.   

Ruth takes the Carnegie Stage in Carnegie this Thursday through Saturday at 8 p.m. 

Government workers who went unpaid during the shutdown can expect their backpay to arrive in the coming days, but many are still concerned about the threat of another shutdown. WESA’s Lucy Perkins spoke with a Transportation Security Administration officer to find out how she's faring.

And the Art Institute of Pittsburgh laid off its entire admissions and career services staff Wednesday, and later acknowledged it was part of a proposal to close as early as March 31. WESA's Kathleen Davis reports that the Institute's parent company, Dream Center Education Holdings, notified staff in an email last week that the company is restructuring a vast amount of debt. 

The Confluence, where the news comes together, is 90.5 WESA’s daily news program. Tune in weekdays at 9 a.m. to hear newsmakers and innovators join veteran journalist Kevin Gavin, taking an in-depth look at stories important to the Pittsburgh region. Find more episodes of The Confluence here or wherever you get your podcasts.

Kiley Koscinski is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She previously produced The Confluence and Morning Edition. Before coming to WESA, she worked as an assignment desk editor and producer at 1020 AM KDKA. She can be reached at
Julia Zenkevich is a general assignment reporter for 90.5 WESA. She first joined the station as a production assistant on The Confluence, and more recently served as a fill-in producer for The Confluence and Morning Edition. She’s a life-long Pittsburgher, and attended the University of Pittsburgh. She can be reached at
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