Though Republicans in Pennsylvania long opposed recreational marijuana, lawmakers have come around in order to fix sizable budget deficits.

The Tri-State area is among the U.S. regions most ravaged by the coronavirus pandemic. The United States has more than 1.6 million cases and nearly 100,000 deaths, according to reports by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But more than 500,000 cases and 45,000 deaths come from New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania alone.

The pandemic has had a disastrous impact on these state economies and lawmakers have turned to an unlikely savior to increase tax revenue — marijuana.

Last week, a group of New York State Sens. implored Gov. Andrew Cuomo and lawmakers to legalize recreational cannabis to make up the $13 billion deficit the state currently faces. Pennsylvania also faces a sizable budget deficit, as the state has lost more than $4 billion in tax revenue since the start of…

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