Pennsylvania lawmakers returned to the Capitol from their summer recess Monday, while medical marijuana supporters rallied for Senate Bill 1182, or the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act. This bill would allow doctors to recommend extracted oil, edible products, ointments, and other marijuana-based products to patients with debilitating medical conditions.
Senate Bill 1182 co-sponsors, Sen. Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon) and Sen. Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery/Delaware), said their bill could be sent to the floor next week.
“We are so close. We are closer than we have ever been,” stated Senator Leach. “If this runs in the Senate, we get more than 40 votes, and we are promised it will run next week in the Senate. We have counted in the House. There are 203 members. We have counted about 160 yes votes,” he said.
However, although they have gathered enough votes in the House, there is still concern from the Senate that House leadership may block the bill before reaching the floor.
According to Rachelle Yeung, legislative analyst at the Marijuana Policy Project, “We know that there is overwhelming support amongst Pennsylvania voters for medical cannabis, and it’s time for their legislators to step up and really represent the will of the people.”
Sen. Folmer thanked the crowd on the Capitol steps for their grassroots efforts and reassured that they were very close, and that things were looking good.
Following the rally, the group that organized it, Campaign for Compassion, continued their educational efforts by handing out informational packets on medical marijuana and talking to their representatives.
“Hopefully, they will learn this is something Pennsylvania needs and they will stand up and do what is right and put the political horse trading to the side,” said Christine Brann, a Campaign for Compassion ambassador.