The year 2014 is a significant one for Mr John Hanger, who served as the secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP) from 2008 – 2011. This year, he takes a leap forward and has decided to run in the 2014 Pennsylvania gubernatorial race.
He is known for his environmental conservation programs, having served as the secretary of the PA DEP and the Commissioner of the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, making him one of two people that have rendered this service. In 1984, he graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and on 1979 from Duke University.
According to Wikipedia, among the laws and bills he has passed are the Pennsylvania’s 1996 Electricity Generation Competition and Customer Choice Act, the 2004 Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act, the 2005 Growing Greener 2 legislation, the 2007 Net Metering statute, the 2008 Act 129 on electricity conservation programs, the 2008 Act 70 DEP Climate Change Action Plan, the 2008 Alternative Fuels Act, and the 2010 Recycling Fee extension. This shows that John Hanger will not only serve the people, but will also secure a healthy and conducive Pennsylvania for everyone.
In addition to his credentials on environmental protection, he was the founding president of the Citizens for Pennsylvania’s Future, an organization that is leaning towards the betterment of the environment and the economy of the said state.
Aside from the continuous service for non-electoral positions, this is not the first time that John Hanger will try and fight for an elected office. In 2004, he was a viable Democratic nominee for the senatorial race against Arlen Specter.
On to his projects, one of the major points of Mr Hanger’s plan is the legalization and decriminalization of medical marijuana. He believes in the benefits that are brought about by treatments based on medical marijuana, and was able to formulate a three-step plan on decriminalizing medical marijuana upon office in 2015, and legalizing it by 2017.
His three-step plan of legalizing medical marijuana starts by authorizing doctors to facilitate and prescribe the usage of medical marijuana for appropriate illnesses, then removing all criminal penalties associated with the possession of small amounts of marijuana immediately. The third step is to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana as soon as possible.
John Hanger believes that the state government of Pennsylvania has long been denying an effective way of treating certain illnesses by not recognizing the legalization of medical marijuana. According to him, “It’s time to stop this senseless, ineffective, expensive war on marijuana and implement evidence-based policies that save money, address the real problems, provide relief to patients.” (Source: http://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/hanger/pages/35/attachments/original/1386605497/Reforming_Marijuana_Laws.pdf?1386605497)
Moreover, he says that the incidents involving marijuana usage like driving under the influence of marijuana should, and will still be kept criminal, and will not be tolerated. In his platform, he stresses that the regulation of medical marijuana is crucial, as this will prevent minors to acquire the said substance. He also added that he will prioritize education on the treatment procedures that concern drug and alcohol addictions.
These plans have been put to place because John Hanger believes that the state gushes out $350 Million annually on the arrest and prosecution of marijuana users that include those that have been using it in small amounts, and for medicinal purposes.
He believes that the use of cannabis is not addictive once regulated and legalized. It is an effective way of treating certain conditions like the side effects brought about by the treatments for AIDS, cancer, and hepatitis C, as well as chronic diseases.
Sadly, despite all of these progressive and outward-looking proposals, Mr John Hanger withdrew his candidacy on March of 2014, channeling his support to the Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tom Wolf.