pennsylvania medical marijuana
Medical Marijuana Policy

Pennsylvania Governor Signs Medical Marijuana Bill Into Law

pennsylvania medical marijuanaIn a ceremony crowded with patients and supporters at the State Capital on Sunday, Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill into law that will provide seriously ill Pennsylvanians with legal access to medical marijuana. The passage of SB 3 makes Pennsylvania the 24th state to allow medical marijuana. More than half of Americans now live in states with effective medical marijuana laws.

SB 3 would allow patients with a qualifying condition and their doctors’ recommendation to use and safely access medical marijuana. Up to 25 Department of Health-permitted growers and processors would produce medical marijuana, which could be dispensed by up to 50 dispensaries, each of which could have up to three locations. The qualifying conditions include cancer, HIV/AIDS, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, seizures, autism, sickle cell anemia, and intractable pain if conventional therapies or opiates are contraindicated or ineffective.

“Finally, Pennsylvania patients who could benefit from medical marijuana will no longer have to suffer needlessly or be treated like criminals,” said Latrisha Bentch of Harrisburg, whose daughter suffers from mesial temporal sclerosis, a condition marked by frequent seizures that could be treated with medical marijuana. She is a founding member of the Campaign for Compassion, a local organization of patients and families advocating for comprehensive medical marijuana legislation.

“Patients and their families throughout the state have been desperately hoping that we could get this sensible and compassionate legislation passed this year,” Bentch said. “Thanks to Gov. Wolf and supportive lawmakers, our wait is finally over.”

“Due to the tireless efforts of patients, families, advocates, and lawmakers, Pennsylvanians will finally have access to this safe and effective treatment option,” said Becky Dansky, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “Now that more than half of Americans live where medical marijuana is legal, we hope other states and the federal government will reconsider their policies.”

“We applaud the Department of Health which is already taking steps to prepare for the implementation process,” Dansky said. “We’re confident that under the leadership of Governor Wolf and Secretary Murphy, Pennsylvania will create the strongest possible program for patients in the Commonwealth.”

Source: Marijuana Policy Project e-mail press release

  • Shadar

    Except they only allow pills, oil, and lotions and salves. But nothing smokable, and no edibles.

    What is so damn scary to these people about vaporizing or burning the plant?

    • saynotohypocrisy

      They’re confusing cannabis with tobacco.

      • Shadar

        Maybe… but it also seems like an East coast versus West coast thing.

        Alaska, Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Cali, Arizona, Nevada medical — medicine comes in any form that works for you.

        East coast… most MMJ rules exclude smokable forms. Harder to qualify for as well.

        What’s different in the mindset when you cross the Mississippi going east? Did all the forward thinking people move west and the backward thinkers stayed east?

        Here’s hoping Vermont or Maine will prove yet again that the Northeast is different than the rest of the east coast. More like the West in some ways.

        • moldy

          I moved from IA to NV… any questions?

          • nixnoutz

            You felt you had to leave tornado country? I sure would have.

        • nixnoutz

          West-East, progressives in the west since the 1960s. East has always been 7-20 years behind. Since most industrialization left the Northeast USA it’s hard to blame pollution. The internet will continue to close the gap, I hope. ;-)

  • Sharon Taulbee

    Additionally to the extreme limitations of marijuana options, it will take at least a year or more for those patients to be granted access. Not to mention…only those who can afford their dispensary prices. Yet another state that will ultimately strengthen the black market and place patients at higher risk for unethical predators with low quality and possibly contaminated marijuana.
    It would be nice if these states would at least allow for agreements with other legalized states for patients to have immediate access and allow designated not-for- profit grows to provide for those patients who can not afford the dispensaries.
    Yeah for legalization of Pennsylvania

  • Been around

    I guess it’s a start, but there’s no legitimate reason why these medical cannabis laws that states are coming out with couldn’t included provisions for home cultivation.
    Home cultivation demonstrably reduces the cost to a point where even someone with the lowest of incomes can reap the benefit of this plant without sacrificing such as food on the table, other non-cannabis medications that they need to take or clothes for their family members.
    What we are seeing are very restrictive and expensive medical cannabis programs that greatly limit who gets “authorized” for mc use and then comes the cost.
    Like I said up top, it’s a start but it’s so prohibitive in so many ways. This is not what freedom-of-choice (especially when talking about one’s personal health, well-being and quality-of-life) should be about. It SHOULD be about allowing people to find their own personal comfort without having to deal with fear of prosecution and costs that only a select few can afford.
    It’s a start, I guess…
    Peace.
    Mired in tyrannical New York State