This week Pennsylvania took a significant step towards becoming the 24th state to allow medical cannabis. The State Senate in Harrisburg passed 43-7 Senate Bill 1182 which will provide medical cannabis products to qualifying patients.
For the children that suffer from life-threatening seizures, for veterans and for cancer patients, this marks a significant victory but amendments made to the bill in the final politicking to get the bill passed, substantially limit the conditions required for access and remove smoking and vaporization as methods of administration.
In spite of these last-minute changes to the bill, this is a important victory that many at first had not given much of a chance to come to vote let alone pass the full Senate by a significant majority. Notable here has been the unlikely bipartisan team and very passionate efforts of Senators Daylin Leach and Mike Folmer fueled by moms and families of epileptic kids (the Mama Bears, like Heather Shuker, mother of Hannah Pallas). Their passion coupled with the scientific grounding from Dr. Jahan Marcu and a hearing appearance from Irv Rosenfeld, many of the conservative lawmakers who did not support the bill originally changed their position after becoming educated. As a result, thousands of patients and their families will benefit and while the law is not ideal, it’s the start we that we need to build upon the science that will underpin new knowledge to refute the years of mistruths and lies about cannabis and hemp.
The great state of Pennsylvania, the Keystone State, the birthplace of freedom and where farmers in William Penn’s colonial times were taxed for NOT growing hemp, will be the 24th state in our great nation to begin the end of this senseless prohibition based on the musings of a bigot.Thank you again to Senators Leach and Folmer for listening to more than 85% of your constituents and for all of your hard work, cooperation and passion on this issue to getting it passed in the State Senate. The bill is now on to the Pennsylvania House and then to the governor to be signed into law.