|Nugs like this Purple Kush beauty could be legal for medical use if Pennsylvania legislators show some leadership.|
A public hearing on legalizing medical marijuana is scheduled for Wednesday, Dec. 2, in Harrisburg, Pa., before the House Health and Human Services committee.
Discussed will be House Bill 1393, introduced in April by State Rep. Mark Cohen, D-Philadelphia. According to Cohen, the bill aims to ease the lives of suffering patients, take money away from the illegal drug trade and create about $25 million a year in tax revenue from the sale of marijuana.
“The bill has a 1-in-4 chance of becoming law, but I think that health care groups will lean toward it,” Cohen told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review.
|PA House of Representatives|
|Rep. Mark Cohen: “Bill has 1-in-4 chance of becoming law”|
Rep. Eddie Day Pashinksi, D-Luzerne, who chairs the House subcommittee on drugs and alcohol, said the decision to legalize marijuana should rest with the medical community.
“Doctors should determine whether there’s a place for the drug in the treatment of their patients,” Pashinski said.
With just six co-sponsors, there’s a chance the medical marijuana bill will never reach a vote, according to Rep. Randy Vulakovich, R-Shaler, a former cop who still seems under the thrall of Reefer Madness myths.
“Marijuana is still considered a gateway drug,” Vulakovich averred, “and a lot of the people who are fighting for this bill want to use the legislation as a step-off point for legalizing all marijuana.”
According to spokesman Gary Tuma, Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell has no problem with the bill. “If a reasonable, well-crafted bill reached his desk, he would sign it,” Tuma said.