- Pennsylvania Senate candidate Mehmet Oz isn’t a fan of legalizing recreational use for marijuana.
- He warned on Thursday that doing so could hinder people from getting their “mojo” back for work.
- Lawmakers pushing to legalize recreational use say two-thirds of the state agree with the effort.
Pennsylvania Senate candidate Dr. Mehmet Oz voiced his opposition to legalizing recreational marijuana in the state, saying on Thursday that Pennsylvanians need to get their “mojo” back and go to work instead.
“There are not enough Pennsylvanians to work in Pennsylvania, so giving them pot so they stay home is not, I don’t think, an ideal move,” he told Newsmax host Greg Kelly in an on-camera interview.
It’s not immediately clear how Oz came to this conclusion, as the unemployment rate in Pennsylvania was 4.9% in March, per the state’s latest figures.
Oz also warned against fostering an “emotional addiction” to marijuana.
“I don’t want young people to think they have to smoke a joint to get out of their house in the morning,” he said. “We need to get Pennsylvanians back at work.”
“You gotta give them their mojo, and I don’t want marijuana to be a hindrance to that,” the celebrity doctor added.
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He expressed concern that people could be driving or operating heavy machinery under the influence of marijuana, or as he put it: “When they’ve been taking their fourth joint of the day.”
According to the National Institute of Drug Abuse, some research has pointed to correlations between marijuana use and a higher risk of workplace accidents, adverse consequences in the workplace, and reduced chances of educational attainment.
For example, one study cited by NIDA found that among 2,537 postal workers, those who tested positive for marijuana had 55% more industrial accidents, 85% more injuries, and 75% greater absenteeism than those who didn’t.
Pennsylvania lawmakers pushing for the legalization of recreational marijuana say that doing so will bolster the state’s agricultural industry and create between $400 million to $1 billion in tax revenue. Around two-thirds of Pennsylvanians also support adult use of recreational marijuana, they said.
Their bill allows the substance to be used only by adults above the age of 21 and doesn’t permit the possession or use of marijuana in schools, childcare centers, or on school buses.
It also allows workplaces to dictate their own rules for employees’ use of marijuana at work and whether or not employees can be under the influence of marijuana at work.
The state currently allows the medicinal use of marijuana. Neighboring New Jersey has signed recreational use of the substance into law, and Pennsylvania lawmakers say that New York is also likely to do so.
Oz remains neck-and-neck with rival candidate Dave McCormick in the Pennsylvania GOP Senate primary, hauling in 31.2% of the state’s votes compared with McCormick’s 31.1%, as of Thursday evening. The race has yet to be called, and is likely set for a recount.