Apr 132016
 April 13, 2016

pennsylvania medical marijuanaA long-awaited bill to establish a medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania received final approval from state lawmakers on Wednesday and is now headed to the desk of Gov. Tom Wolf, who has 10 calendar days to sign it into law. If he does, Pennsylvania will become the 24th state in the nation (in addition to the District of Columbia) to adopt an effective medical marijuana law.

The House of Representatives voted 149-46 Wednesday to concur on the version of SB 3 approved yesterday by the Senate.

SB 3 would allow patients with qualifying conditions to use and safely access medical cannabis with their physicians’ recommendations. Up to 25 Department of Health-permitted growers and processors would produce medical cannabis, 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.

“I almost can’t believe that our patients and families are so close to getting relief after so much waiting,” 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.

“We are overjoyed that the legislature has finally agreed on a comprehensive bill to help alleviate our suffering,” Bentch said. “After hearing our stories and seeing our faces day after day at the Capitol, they put politics aside and did the right thing. We thank them for their work, and look forward to the governor signing this bill into law as soon as possible.”

“Legal access to medical marijuana is going to benefit tens of thousands of seriously ill patients in Pennsylvania,” said Becky Dansky, a legislative analyst for the Marijuana Policy Project. “For some, it’s the best treatment option. For others, it’s the only treatment option.

“A lot of incredible patients, advocates, and lawmakers came together to get this legislation passed,” Dansky said. “We look forward to continuing to work together to implement it once it becomes law.”

Source: Marijuana Policy Projectmake a donation

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  4 Responses to “Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill Approved, Headed To Governor For Signature”

  1.  

    It’s a good thing when bills like this are passed by such huge margins! 149-46 to in the house to concur and 42-7 in the Senate. Maybe other politicians around the country could follow suit now that the ice has been thawed.

  2.  

    For those who are interested, I looked through the text of the final bill to find the condition list (p.95):

    “SERIOUS MEDICAL CONDITION.” ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:
    (1) CANCER.
    (2) POSITIVE STATUS FOR HUMAN IMMUNODEFICIENCY VIRUS OR
    ACQUIRED IMMUNE DEFICIENCY SYNDROME.
    (3) AMYOTROPHIC LATERAL SCLEROSIS.
    (4) PARKINSON’S DISEASE.
    (5) MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS.
    (6) DAMAGE TO THE NERVOUS TISSUE OF THE SPINAL CORD WITH
    OBJECTIVE NEUROLOGICAL INDICATION OF INTRACTABLE SPASTICITY.
    (7) EPILEPSY.
    (8) INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE.
    (9) NEUROPATHIES.
    (10) HUNTINGTON’S DISEASE.
    (11) CROHN’S DISEASE.
    (12) POST-TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER.
    (13) INTRACTABLE SEIZURES.
    (14) GLAUCOMA.
    (15) SICKLE CELL ANEMIA.
    (16) SEVERE CHRONIC OR INTRACTABLE PAIN OF NEUROPATHIC
    ORIGIN OR SEVERE CHRONIC OR INTRACTABLE PAIN IN WHICH
    CONVENTIONAL THERAPEUTIC INTERVENTION AND OPIATE THERAPY IS
    CONTRAINDICATED OR INEFFECTIVE.
    (17) AUTISM.
    “TERMINALLY ILL.” A MEDICAL PROGNOSIS OF LIFE EXPECTANCY OF
    APPROXIMATELY ONE YEAR OR LESS IF THE ILLNESS RUNS ITS NORMAL
    COURSE.
    Not a super broad law like California of course, but it looks OK as far as serious conditions go. More coverage of mental illnesses, like depression, chronic insomnia, etc. would have been good.

  3.  

    Willie Penn would be proud, but would probably now ask when is full legalization going to come back.

  4.  

    yes for all

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