The Pennsylvania medical marijuana bill is back in the hands of the state House after the Senate passed the chamber by a vote of 42-7 Tuesday. If the House passes the bill, it will go to Governor Tom Wolf’s desk, where it is expected to be signed. The bill has been in the works for more than 2 years, and the volley between the 2 branches has been ongoing for more than a year.

medpotinpa
Source: Daily Collegian

Medical marijuana proponents are praising the bill and asking the House to vote in favor of it. Becky Dansky, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project, said in a press release:

“Pennsylvania patients and their families have had to work far too hard and for far too long to gain legal access to medical marijuana. They should not have to wait any longer. We urge the House to concur tomorrow, so we can begin the process of implementing this important program.”

Wolf called the action “long overdue,” saying:

“We should not deny doctor-recommended treatment that could help people suffering from seizures or cancer patients affected by chemotherapy.” [1]

The bill has had overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers. The parents of children with seizures and other advocates have pushed especially hard for passage of the legislation, often going door to door in the state capitol in Harrisburg.

Read: 6-Year-Old Free Of Debilitating Seizures After 8 Months Of Cannabis Oil Use

The bill has been delayed in recent weeks because lawmakers have been trying to figure out how to regulate a new marijuana industry and get it up and functioning as soon as possible for the benefit of sick children.

There are 17 qualifying conditions for medical marijuana under SB 3:

  • cancer
  • epilepsy
  • autism
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • sickle cell anemia
  • multiple sclerosis
  • AIDS
  • glaucoma

Pennsylvania is the only state thus far to include autism in the list of qualifying diagnoses. [2]

While the House is expected to vote in favor of SB 3, some marijuana activists remain nervous, as some influential House members oppose medical marijuana. Supporters worry they will find a way to stall the bill once again, or even kill it.

Early this morning, supporters of medical marijuana gathered at the Capitol to let lawmakers know they’re not giving up the fight.

The good news is, if the bill passes the House today, Wolf says he will sign it immediately so that it can go into effect later this week. [3]

Sources:

[1] Philly Voice

[2] CBS Pittsburgh

[3] PennLive.com

Daily Collegian


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Post written byJulie Fidler:
Julie Fidler is a freelance writer, legal blogger, and the author of Adventures in Holy Matrimony: For Better or the Absolute Worst. She lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and two ridiculously spoiled cats. She occasionally pontificates on her blog.