pennsylvania marijuana legislature
Medical Marijuana Policy

Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Bill Deserves A House Vote

pennsylvania marijuana legislatureA medical marijuana bill was passed recently by the Pennsylvania Senate. The bill is far from perfect, as most marijuana legislation is, but it is certainly better than no medical marijuana bill at all. Medical marijuana advocates and patients were very hopeful that the bill would pass in the Pennsylvania House as well. Even Pennsylvania’s Governor has expressed his support for the bill. However, it sounds like a handful of Pennsylvania Representatives are going to prevent the bill from even getting a vote in the House. Per Marijuana Business Daily:

Republican Rep. Matt Baker told several news outlets that he doesn’t intend to bring the bill up for a vote in the committee he chairs. Baker told reporters that the state shouldn’t sanction a drug that doesn’t have the backing of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

If that’s the case, then the bill may already be effectively dead, despite Gov. Tom Wolf’s repeated assertions that he thinks the bill can pass.

Wolf has already been vocal about his support for MMJ and pledged to do everything he could to get the bill through the House.

“I hope we can convince the right people to do the right thing,” Wolf told Fox 43.

You can contact Pennsylvania Representative Matt Baker at this link here. Mr. Baker doesn’t truly care about the FDA, he’s just using that as a delay tactic because he knows it’s not going to happen prior to the close of session. Contact him and let him know that is unacceptable. Make your voice heard. Share with him personal stories of how medical marijuana has helped. Share with him scientific studies that prove that marijuana is an effective form of medicine. Contact him early and often.

  • Stel-1776

    This NEJM survey found that 76% of doctors support using cannabis for medicinal purposes:

    “with 76% of all votes in favor of the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes — even though marijuana use is illegal in most countries…In sum, the majority of clinicians would recommend the use of medicinal marijuana in certain circumstances”

    Surprisingly:

    “Pennsylvania represented the opposite extreme, with 96% of 107 votes in support of medicinal marijuana.”

    I guess not many are members of the lobby group PA Medical Society who continues to lobby for Big Pharma.

    Adler and Colbert. Medicinal Use of Marijuana — Polling Results. New England Journal of Medicine. 2013.

  • Brogino G.

    Shame on you, Matt Baker. He certainly doesn’t seem too concerned about the future of his political career if he is willing to contradict not only the overwhelming senate vote, but also the overwhelming majority of Pennsylvanians.

    I sent the following to Matt Baker a few days ago (no response, of course). Please do the same! Also, if you want his direct e-mail: mbaker@pahousegop.com

    ———————————————–
    Rep. Matt Baker,

    I am writing to urge you to reconsider your stance on medical marijuana, and to urge you to allow the House of Representatives to exercise their democratic right regarding Senate Bill 3 and put it up for a vote. As the Senate has now approved the bill twice with overwhelming support, and as close to 90% of Pennsylvanians– that you were elected to represent– support it, I join many others in adding my voice of support for the bill and the responsible use of medical cannabis. I am also writing to help you realize the irony of the behavior that you are displaying as an elected official and as the acting chair of the Health Committee, and bring to light the inaccuracies of your statements regarding the issue. With a wife that suffers from the endless pain that comes from severe Fibromyalgia, and a mother-in-law that suffers from both severe Fibromyalgia and the debilitating side effects of Crohn’s disease, I am very passionate about educating myself, my family, and those such as yourself that stand in the way of an otherwise easily attainable solution to these ailments. I am writing to tell you unequivocally that you are wrong in stating that “the lion’s share of the medical community and medical associations are not recommending legalization of marijuana for medical purposes.” It is in fact the opposite. The science is sound, it is verifiable, and the responsible use of cannabis can and does not only treat, but can also altogether cure an extensive number of diseases and conditions– including Crohn’s disease. I have stood by sadly and watched as my mother has sought relief through a staggering amount of pharmaceuticals– many of the same pharmaceutical companies from which you have received financial contributions– going unsuccessfully from one combination of drugs to another, and eventually becoming addicted to prescription Morphine and steadily declining into severe depression and dysfunction. These profoundly negative side effects are a direct result of the drugs that she has been cornered into purchasing, and would be avoided entirely by treating her ailments effectively with cannabis. Next month the National Geographic will publish an in-depth look at the science and medicine of cannabis, in which Raphael Mechoulam, a world-renowned organic chemist and the discoverer of tetrahydrocannabinol, reports: “We have just scratched the surface … we may well discover that cannabinoids are involved in some way in all human diseases.” I look forward to the day when my wife and mother are legally permitted to use cannabis, a plant grown organically and naturally, to treat themselves and lessen the pain they experience on a daily basis, rather than the opioids or similarly harmful and addictive synthetic drugs that are currently being presented to them as their only option for treatment.

    We all live in communities– locally, nationally, and globally– where the scales are quickly tipping in favor of full legalization. The majority, due to increased education, have abandoned misinformation and inaccuracies and recognized cannabis for what it is; a plant with very real, measurable, and quantifiable benefits. It is a shame that even though we are surrounded by more compassionate states, Pennsylvanian leaders and legislators such as yourself are uneducated on the subject and are afraid to come forward, recognize the facts, and amend or remove current apathetic legislative inaccuracies and misconceptions. Rather than sitting back and waiting to see what happens in other states, Pennsylvania could stand out and be an example and a champion for good. It is also unfortunate that you feel it necessary to wait for the federal government to make a move before Pennsylvania does, even though President Obama and his administration have expressed that exactly the opposite needs to happen; that states need to continue to take it upon themselves to change antiquated legislation before the federal government will take action. This is a very cyclical problem, and will remain just that until you, I, and anyone and everyone else that can, will stand up and take it upon themselves to change things for the better. As Henry David Thoreau said, “Unjust laws exist: shall we be content to obey them, or shall we endeavor to amend them, and obey them until we have succeeded, or shall we transgress them at once?”

    I am hopeful that you will educate yourself and ponder deeply the power that your actions can have not just on me and my loved ones, but on hundreds upon thousands of individuals in this the Keystone State of Pennsylvania that are eagerly waiting for the legal permission to access the compassionately God-given medicine that is cannabis.

    Thank you warmly,

    [name withheld]

    • john

      you don’t need to be all nice. Just call him another Republican a-hole like he deserves to be.

    • Sue

      Thank you for sending that wonderful letter. I just lost my husband from Mesothelioma in June and nothing worked to settle him better than cannibus. I also sent Rep. Baker a message in hope that he might have a conscience. Btw I am an independent because I have lost all faith in both parties.:(

  • Pennsylvania has many hypocritical Republican Party members

    • been there

      Using “hypocritical” to describe “Republican” is redundant.

    • newageblues

      ‘liberty for me but not for thee’ is their proud motto. Where where the Tea Parties? Can’t they at least agree that MEDICINAL marijuana should be legal?
      It’s crazy that these self-proclaimed lovers of liberty aren’t strongly in support of legalizing recreational cannabis, their lack of support for medicinal marijuana makes them not just flaming hypocrites, but flaming hypocrites with blood on their hands. Like the fascist Matt Baker who just defied the wishes of almost 90% of Pennsylvanians.

  • Mary W.

    Some of our politicians and lawmakers would rather destroy the lives
    of citizens than stand up to their corporate masters. Cannabis
    legalization is just another crystal clear example of how our lawmakers
    bend over for corporations. Tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical drug
    companies make 100s of billions in profit every year. Our politicians
    take their money, do their bidding, and so it goes. Corporations who
    are scared witless of losing their long term deadly stranglehold on the
    US public due to cannabis legalization. Massive citizen outcry is
    required to make this gigantic lie right.

    All the data from the
    Center for Disease Control clearly supports cannabis legalization. It is
    absolutely clear that cannabis is safer than the legal serial killer
    alternatives tobacco, alcohol and pharmaceutical drugs which kill over
    650,000 US citizens annually. Nothing the least bit complicated or hard
    to understand about these statistics taken directly from the CDC dot gov
    web site:

    Numbers of deaths per year in the USA
    * Prescription Drugs: 237,485 + 5,000 traffic fatalities
    * Tobacco: 390,323
    * Alcohol: 88,013 + 16,000 traffic fatalities
    * Cocaine: 4,906
    * Heroin: 3,365
    * Aspirin: 466
    * Acetaminophen (Tylenol): 179
    * Marijuana: 0, none, not a single fatal overdose in all medical history and almost no traffic problems.

    So, which is safer?

    Stop the lies and Legalize!

  • newageblues

    I salute him for writing so powerfully and politely, to someone who doesn’t deserve politeness. He sure deserves a real reply, but what are the chances of that.?

  • John

    Baker takes donations from pharmaceutical companies. Any caveman would realize as to why he is not for medical marijuana. He is a sock puppet for corporate corruption. No different between Hillary scandal taking donations for her campaign. Good luck Penn!!

  • Frostie Mahlandt

    my husband is dying from als. he needs the medical marijuana now!

  • Harry Wolfgang

    I’m a gulf war veteran with severe pain from operations, fibromialga , knee replacement , three back operations, migraine , diabetes , osteoarthritis , rheumatoid arthritis , gulf war syndrome . I’m allergic to most medications . I’m hoping the oil made from cannabis may be of some relief. I’ve had severe reaction from other medications even if they work at first, 1 year later starts the rejection. People with chronic pain start to plan or always thinking what action may be a last resort. Its not pleasant but a reality. Does big corporation profits come before citizens pain relief. Should I be required to move to another state or should my elected officials do what’s right for it citizens / veterans.