Pennsylvania Senate Passes Non-Smoking Medical Marijuana Bill But Time is Running Out


The Pennsylvania Senate yesterday approved a measure that would legalize the medical use of some forms of cannabis, though chances of the bill being approved by the state House in the final days of the session aren’t very high.
Even then, the bill would have to overcome the stone wall that is the governor’s office.

The bill, sponsored by state Sen. Daylin Leach, a Democrat from Philadelphia, would allow patients to access cannabis in edible, oil and tincture forms. Vaporization would be allowed, but the smoking of cannabis would not be permitted under Leach’s plan. It gained huge support, including 20 out of 27 republicans and all Democrats in the Senate.
“It is cruel and heartless to deny people the best medicine that is available,” Leach said to lawmakers during the bill’s discussion. “And it’s time to stop treating this irrationally and saying, ‘we’re not going to let you have this, we’re going to instead make you take far more dangerous and less effective drugs.’ That’s just not how we would want to be treated; it’s not how we want our families to be treated.”
Those opposed said the bill was going too far and would increase access to pot for kids.
Though the proposed plan is pretty restrictive, that doesn’t matter to anti-cannabis Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett.
“The governor is opposed to the legalization of marijuana for either purpose: recreational or medicinal,” the governor’s spokesman told local Philadelphia CBS news.
Another issue is time. The state House only has six days left in their session, and House leadership says that they likely don’t have enough time to review the bill, discuss it, make any changes and get it passed. It’s likely, they say, that the bill will have to be reintroduced next session.
Corbett is also up for reelection this year, and his leading opponent, Tom Wolf, says he would support the legalization of medical cannabis.