Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Poised to Become 24th Medical Marijuana State

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.1914591_10153313240631816_4731955737775675460_n

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!

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Patients and Lawmakers Demand Approval of Medical Marijuana Bill

On Tuesday, a group of Pennsylvania lawmakers, patients, and their families gathered at the State Capitol to demand swift action from the legislature in moving a medical marijuana bill that has been stalled for months.

[caption id="attachment_9203" align="alignright" width="250"]Julie Michaels, front left, of Connellsville, and Jessica Hawkins, right, of Pittsburg, look on as Hawkins' son Lucciano, 2, right center, gives a hug to Michaels' daughter Sydney, 5, left center, as supporters gather at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building to promote the legalization of medical cannabis in Harrisburg, Pa. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015.   Dawn J. Sagert - dsagert@yorkdispatch.com Julie Michaels, front left, of Connellsville, and Jessica Hawkins, right, of Pittsburg, look on as Hawkins' son Lucciano, 2, right center, gives a hug to Michaels' daughter Sydney, 5, left center, as supporters gather at the Pennsylvania State Capitol Building to promote the legalization of medical cannabis in Harrisburg, Pa. on Tuesday, Sept. 22, 2015. Dawn J. Sagert - York Dispatch[/caption]

The Patriot-News reports:

In early summer, medical marijuana seemed on the verge of becoming legal in Pennsylvania.

But the effort, which supporters insist easily has enough votes to pass, now seems caught up in delays and stalling tactics, according to supporters who rallied Tuesday at the state Capitol.

One of the supporters was state Rep. Mike Regan, R-York County, a former federal law enforcement officer who said he represents a highly conservative district, and hasn't received a single call of opposition from a constituent.

"This has got to stop being about politics and it has to start being about people," he said. "I will not stop fighting until this is law."

Regan also noted he spent much of his career arresting drug dealers. He said he is convinced medical marijuana is a safe and valuable medication, and won't become a gateway to illegal drugs and more illegal drug use in Pennsylvania.

A medical marijuana bill introduced by state Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon County passed 40-7 in the Senate in May. In the House, leaders in early summer created a group to draft a bill that would pass the Republican-controlled House.

Democrat Gov. Tom Wolf has come out strongly in favor of medical marijuana and has said he will sign a bill.

If you are a Pennsylvania resident and are tired of waiting for the legislature to enact compassionate, effective medical marijuana legislation, please contact your lawmakers and let them know the time to act is now.

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Senate Committee Approves Medical Marijuana Bill

[caption id="attachment_7800" align="alignright" width="200"]Mike Folmer Sen. Mike Folmer[/caption]

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.

 

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Medical Marijuana

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced

[caption id="attachment_7226" align="alignright" width="240"]daylin-leach Sen. Daylin Leach[/caption]

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 Pennsylvaniaask 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. 

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Medical Marijuana

New, Bi-Partisan Medical Marijuana Bill in Pennsylvania

[caption id="attachment_7087" align="alignright" width="114"]Folmer Sen. Mike Folmer[/caption]

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.

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