Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett doesn't want to seem square on medical marijuana or be accused of being tough on sick citizens of his fine state, but he's not doing a very good job of it.
Wikimedia commons/Hunter_Kahn. Tom Corbett.
Take his statements this week that he would totally support medical marijuana if the federal government were to give their approval, though he won't do anything about challenging that in defense of sick Pennsylvanians in the meantime.
"If in fact the FDA does deem there are appropriate and medical uses, that is something that the governor would obviously take into consideration," Jay Pagni, spokesman for Corbett's office, told Pennlive. "He'd be open to direction and the FDA is the agency for that direction," he added. "It's the one body that would determine if [medical marijuana] is appropriate, if it does have a beneficial use, and he would look to the experts on that."
Basically, he's not for medical marijuana at all. He's for whatever the federal government tells him is okay. Never mind the 21 other states (and D.C.) that have approved medical cannabis - some even with robust regulatory systems to manage hundreds of dispensaries legally operating under state law. In case there was any doubt, Corbett vowed last year to veto any cannabis-related laws that dared make it to his desk for a signature.
And Corbet's press people are doing a horrible job of softening that image.
"The governor has great empathy for patients and for families of individuals that may be dealing with serious medical issues and are looking for solutions and relief," Pagni said, hopefully biting his tongue afterward if he has any shred of humanity in him. "If the FDA deems that the health benefits of that treatment are appropriate safe and effective, the governor would be interested in seeing what those results would be."
By that time Corbett will likely be long gone from office, as the feds aren't changing their stance anytime soon. Meanwhile Pennsylvania will hopefully have moved on to a much more sensible and compassionate governor.