Pennsylvania Senate Expected To Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

Legislation to permit the medical use of marijuana in Pennsylvania is poised to clear the state Senate, but movement is expected to slow — perhaps to a halt — if the measure reaches the House.

The bill, championed by Sen. Mike Folmer, R-Lebanon, would require patients to secure a doctor’s authorization and would not permit the marijuana to be smoked.

His proposal moved toward the Senate floor Tuesday with a 21-5 vote of the Appropriations Committee. Senate Majority Leader Dominic Pileggi, R-Delaware, said he expects the full Senate to vote today with an “overwhelming majority in favor of the bill.”

Before the committee voted, three members told of their own children’s experiences with seizures. It was an increasingly personal turn for the discussion of a bill whose most vocal advocates have been parents seeking treatment for uncontrolled pediatric seizure disorders.

“I have a daughter, who’s soon to be 23, who has between two and six seizures a day,” said Senate President Pro Tem Joe Scarnati, R-Jefferson. “Do I know if medical marijuana will lessen the intensity of those seizures? Do I know if it will shorten the length of those seizures, or have her more relaxed?”

“What I do know is the medications they give her now, the concoctions of very, very strong anti-seizure medicine, just puts them out, put these kids out and adults out. So it’s a bit about a little bit of hope of quality of life.”

– Read the entire article at Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.