Republican congressional candidate Joe Peters will soon debate a guy he isn’t running against.
Yesterday, Peters found out state Auditor General Eugene DePasquale took his ongoing pitch to legalize marijuana to Sue Henry’s WILK Radio show, and called Sue himself to oppose the idea.
Not long after that, Peters, a former deputy state attorney general and former assistant to the national drug czar, took to Twitter and issued a challenge.
.@DePasqualePA heard you on @WILKNewsradio supporting legal recreational marijuana. Wrong message at wrong time, especially to our kids. Glad I called in to challenge your take. Would welcome a debate on this – addiction problem is top of my list when you send me to Congress
— JoePeters (@JoePetersPA11) January 30, 2018
DePasquale quickly agreed.
.@JoePetersPa11 I’d be happy to debate the benefits of regulating and taxing #marijuana in PA. How about 2 p.m., Feb. 15 at @PSUHarrisburg I’m sure we can find a neutral moderator from one of the local TV stations. @DePasqualePA https://t.co/uhNqQyAdAT
— Aud. Gen. DePasquale (@PAAuditorGen) January 31, 2018
Today, DePasquale renewed his challenge.
“I strongly believe that marijuana legalization has potential positive impacts for Pennsylvania’s fiscal situation,” he said. “It also offers human benefits such as reducing the loss of income and other social, personal and emotional impacts on those arrested for simply possessing a small amount of marijuana.
“So Joe Peters, game on: I have already lined up Penn State Harrisburg as a possible location for the debate on Thursday, Feb. 15. What do you say?”
Peters accepted, saying “I look forward to seeing you on Feb. 15 to discuss the many pitfalls to the full legalization of marijuana, which you advocate and which I oppose.”
“And though I’m not surprised to see that you want to have our debate at a college campus, perhaps it would be even more appropriate to hold it at one of the mid-state law schools, either Dickinson or Widener.”
“Given my experience as a cop and a top official under two presidents at the White House Drug Czar’s Office, it will be a lively debate. In my time at the Drug Czar’s Office I helped expand the Drug Court program, recognizing the need to address addiction as a disease rather than just as a criminal justice issue.”
“Eugene – it is indeed game on. See you on the 15th.”
I have to admit, that’s pretty cool.
It’s also a pretty good way for Peters to get some publicity for his congressional campaign. He’s running for the Republican nomination to the 11th Congressional District seat that Lou Barletta is giving up to run for the Senate.