|Medical marijuana: Will Pennsylvania become the Keystoned State? Oh, yeah… Stereotypes bad.|
The good news, according to the Harrisburg Patriot-News, is that Pennsylvania is finally having a discussion about medical marijuana.
The bad news? “In our socially conservative state this is likely as far as the debate will go on the issue,” the editorial says.
Pennsylvania’s House Health and Human Services Committee last week heard from patients, doctors, and medical marijuana advocates who said the state should legalize the herb for those suffering debilitating medical conditions.
|Boo, Hiss: Republican State Senator Pat Vance doesn’t want anyone to have medical marijuana|
But Democratic leaders in Pennsylvania’s Legislature say that medical marijuana is not a priority. And Sen. Pat Vance (R-Cumberland County), who chairs the Public Health and Welfare Committee, has already said she is “not prone to move this bill.”
Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, who is running for governor, also opposes medical pot.
“This hard stance on the issue is wrong,” the Patriot-News editorializes today. “Lawmakers owe it to the many Pennsylvanians living with pain related to cancer, HIV/AIDS and other serious maladies to further consider House Bill 1393.”
Gov. Edward G. Rendell has said he would sign a carefully crafted medical marijuana bill.
HB 1393, sponsored by Rep. Mark Cohen (D-Philadelphia), calls for the state health department to issue medical marijuana ID cards to patients diagnosed with serious diseases after a physician has recommended the use of cannabis.
Licensed dispensaries would grow and distribute the marijuana under the proposed law.
“People in general and politicians in particular need to throw away their old ideas about marijuana — that it is merely a forbidden drug,” the editorial said. “After all, it has been used for medicinal purposes for thousands of years worldwide.”
“Pennsylvania lawmakers should move forward with legalizing medical marijuana for those who are seriously ill,” the Patriot-News editorialized. “This is not about promoting ‘illegal’ drugs but about giving relief to many who are suffering.”