After years of advocacy from patients and their loved ones, the Pennsylvania House of Representatives approved compassionate, comprehensive medical cannabis legislation this evening!
SB 3 will now return to the Senate, which approved the bill last May, to consider the House’s amendments. Gov. Tom Wolf has been a strong champion of the issue and will sign the legislation when it arrives at his desk.
SB 3 allows patients with qualifying conditions to use and safely access medical cannabis with their physicians’ recommendations. As amended by the House, it allows up to 25 growers and processors to produce medical cannabis, which would be dispensed by up to 50 dispensaries with up to three locations each.
Qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, seizures, autism, sickle cell anemia, and intractable pain if conventional therapies or opiates don’t work or are contraindicated. More details are available here.
Thank you to everyone who has worked so hard for so long to make this compassionate bill a reality, including the amazing team at Campaign4Compassion, the American Trade Association for Cannabis and Hemp, Gov. Tom Wolf, Sens. Mike Folmer and Daylin Leach and their staff, especially MP Tomei, Reps. Mike Regan, Nick Miccarelli, Russ Diamond, and Joe Petrarca and staffer Sarah Speed, Majority Leader Dave Reed, and MPP’s lobbyist Jim Davis!
A group of lawmakers in Pennsylvania is helping the state move closer to passing comprehensive medical marijuana legislation after they submitted a series of recommendations for the bill this week.
The Philadelphia Inquirer reports:
The recommendations, prepared by 13 House members who had been discussing the issue since July, touched on subjects including how to license growers and sellers, and which medical conditions would qualify for a marijuana prescription.
Steve Miskin, spokesman for House Republicans, said the next step would be using the guidelines to draft a bill that can garner enough support in the House.
"Hopefully, [it] passes by the end of the year," Miskin said.
The state Senate has already approved its own medical-marijuana bill, and State Sen. Daylin Leach (D., Montgomery), a longtime proponent of medical marijuana, said he believed the upper chamber would support a House bill that reflected the recommendations that were made public this week by State Rep. Kerry Benninghoff (R., Centre).
Gov. Wolf is also supportive of medical marijuana, said his spokesman, Jeff Sheridan, and has for months encouraged legislators to get a bill to his desk.
If you are a Pennsylvania resident, please contact your legislators and ask the to support this sensible legislation.
This afternoon, the Pennsylvania Senate Law and Justice Committee voted unanimously to approve a medical marijuana bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Mike Folmer and Sen. Daylin Leach. The bill is expected to proceed to the Senate Appropriations Committee next.
This bipartisan measure would allow seriously ill Pennsylvanians to safely and legally use marijuana to treat their medical conditions. These patients and their loved ones should not face the risk of arrest and prosecution, or be forced into the illicit market, where marijuana may be laced or contaminated and where they may even face the threat of violence, simply to obtain their medicine.
Marijuana is already legal for medical use in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Once New York’s bill is signed into law, Pennsylvania will be nearly surrounded by states with such compassionate measures. Pennsylvanians deserve the same treatment options as their neighbors.
A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania state senators has introduced Senate Bill 1182, the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act. This is the first time in recent Pennsylvania Senate history that a medical marijuana bill has received bipartisan support. Authored by Sen. Daylin Leach (D) and Sen. Mike Folmer (R), the Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Act will protect Pennsylvanians with serious and debilitating medical conditions from arrest for using and obtaining medical marijuana with a doctor’s recommendation.
Twenty states and Washington, D.C. have compassionate laws on the books; it’s about time Pennsylvania does the same. If you live in Pennsylvania, ask your state representation in Harrisburg to support this well-crafted legislation.
Support for medical marijuana should be a no-brainer. Earlier this year, a Franklin and Marshall College poll found that an overwhelming 82% of respondents support medical marijuana. It’s time for both Republicans and Democrats in Pennsylvania to stand up for those less fortunate.
At a time when so many politicians seem out of touch with the realities of marijuana prohibition, Daylin Leach is a sight for sore eyes. He is a state senator from Pennsylvania who is running for Congress and he understands the consequences of marijuana prohibition.
A new medical marijuana bill has been proposed in the Pennsylvania Senate by a longtime medical marijuana advocate, Senator Daylin Leach (D-Montgomery), and a socially conservative senator, Mike Folmer (R-Lebanon). Sen. Folmer’s conservative history makes him an unlikely supporter of the bill, however, after a battle with cancer and meeting potential medical marijuana patients, he has a new perspective.
We're not talking about banning Oxycontin, we're not talking about banning Percocet, we're not talking about banning Vicodin. If you're gonna say that we're afraid of the misuse of medical marijuana, you've gotta use that same philosophy and ban all the others also.
Do we want abuse of it? No, I don't want abuse of alcohol, but that's legal. This isn't about somebody sitting around lighting up a doobie, this is about helping people who are sick.
Despite bi-partisan support in the Senate, some politicians are hoping the bill will fail. The opposition comes from other conservative senators as well as Governor Corbett. Despite increases in public support, new scientific studies, and the success of medical marijuana in other states, some politicians seem unwilling to consider the issue.
Erik Arneson, the spokesman for Chester Republican Dominic Pileggi, the Senate majority leader, says it won’t change anything.
“I don’t sense any significant change in the views of the members of the Senate on the issue,” Arneson says. “And the governor remains clear in his stated intention to veto it if it ever were to pass. So we have no intentions of taking the bill up any time this session.”
Even though Senator Pileggi and Governor Corbett aren’t on board with this bill yet, there is strong support for bringing medical marijuana to Pennsylvania. A February poll shows that 82% of Pennsylvanian voters support medical marijuana.
The NAACP of Pennsylvania endorsed a bill to regulate and tax marijuana last week.
Sen. Daylin Leach (D) introduced SB 528, or the Regulate Marijuana Act, in early April. The bill would allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of marijuana and to grow up to 12 plants. The bill includes safeguards to protect against driving under the influence and requires that the state develop a regulatory framework for overseeing marijuana sales. If enacted, Pennsylvania would become the third state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana for adults.
“The war on drugs is a catastrophic failure, particularly for people of color,” said David Scott, a spokesman for the NAACP and a former deputy chief of police. “In Pennsylvania, blacks are 5.2 times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession than whites – even though they use drugs at the same rate.
This support comes in light of a shattering ACLU report, “The War on Marijuana in Black and White,” which found that there is significant, nationwide racial bias in marijuana arrests.
Sen. Leach has welcomed the group’s support.
Pennsylvania recently joined the growing list of states considering taxing and regulating marijuana like alcohol this year, when Sen. Daylin Leach (D-17) introduced SB 528. The proposal was referred to the Senate Law and Justice Committee on April 3.
Sen. Leach’s bill, the Regulate Marijuana Act, would allow adults 21 and over to possess, grow, process, or transport up to six marijuana plants (three or fewer being mature) and possess the marijuana produced by those plants where they were grown, provided that the growing takes place in a secure location. In addition, adults would be allowed to give away up to one ounce of marijuana to other adults who are 21 or older.
SB 528 would task the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board with licensing marijuana-related facilities and regulating the cultivation, distribution, and sale of marijuana to adults 21 and over. In terms of taxation, the bill calls on the General Assembly to enact an excise tax on marijuana sold or transferred.
If you are a Pennsylvania resident, please contact your legislators now, and ask them to support taxing and regulating marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol.
Pennsylvania state Sen. Daylin Leach, a long-time supporter of marijuana reform and previous sponsor of several medical marijuana bills, announced Monday that he will introduce a bill that would make adult possession of up to an ounce of marijuana legal and would tax and regulate the substance. According to The Times Herald, the latter policy is what may eventually swing lawmakers in his state:
But money, more than moral appeals or anything else, might talk the loudest in the drive to decriminalize marijuana in Pennsylvania, particularly in the current era of budget shortfalls and lingering economic uncertainty. And with financial concerns helping to fuel the passage of historic pot legalization laws in Colorado and Washington State in November — as well as the introduction of a bill in the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday that would legalize and levy an excise tax on the sale of the drug — perhaps now is a better time than ever to convince skeptical state lawmakers of the cash benefits of getting into the marijuana business.
Sen. Leach truly believes in this issue, and he wants people to start talking about it more. He tells Raw Story:
“This is inevitable. This will pass. It may take two, it may take four years,” Leach added. “A majority of people don’t support marijuana legalization simply because they haven’t really had cause to revisit the issue in their minds. Once you sit down with people and explain the harm it does in a wide variety of ways, and the be[ne]fits(sic) we can accrue through legalization, I think that people will very quickly change their minds.
… So there’s many who won’t put their name out front on an issue until it gets [mainstream] in their minds. If there was a secret ballot, I predict legalization would pass.”
If you want to help start this conversation with your members of Congress, it has never been easier.