Pubdate: Fri, 10 Oct 2014
Source: Citizens' Voice, The (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
Copyright: 2014 The Citizens' Voice
Note: Chambersburg Public Opinion


It looks like the medical marijuana bill currently sitting in the
Pennsylvania House of Representatives is probably off the table this

How sad for the many young children suffering from severe seizures and
other medical problems that SB 1182 is designed to help.

Representatives seem to have a number of excuses for not taking up the
Senate bill in the waning days of this legislative session, mainly
centered on the rationale that some legislators have not been
following the debates that led up to Senate passage of the bill and
might not be able to make an informed decision about the bill's merit.

Even legislators who support more aggressive drug treatments for
medical use - such as marijuana extracts to control seizures - aren't
sure they want to support the Senate bill without studying it more

Rep. Gene DiGirolamo, R-18, was quoted this week as saying that
conceptually he could support the legislation, but he still wants to
make sure that the bill's language doesn't open the door to
unauthorized use of marijuana products by those who don't need it.

While those arguments might hold some validity on the surface, with
all of the attention the media has given to the bill this year, all
the coverage of the hearings and lobbying efforts by proponents -
frequently parents or guardians of young children suffering from
severe seizures - we wonder if House members can't read or if they
just chose to ignore the attention being given to the Senate bill.

As for the concern that legalizing some forms of medical marijuana
might lead to unauthorized use of the drug, we have to just shake our

Just because heroin and cocaine are sold illegally on the street
doesn't mean drugs such as morphine and other opiates should be
outlawed for use by the medical community. Taking away the ability of
doctors to prescribe those drugs for important medical uses would not
solve the problem of drug abuse.

Likewise, legislative approval of the limited number of marijuana
products for medical use probably won't mean easier access to the
marijuana that most users smoke, and those users will still be able to
get pot from their favorite (unauthorized) dealer, probably a lot more
easily and cheaply than from a doctor.

Sen. Mike Folmer, R-48, has said he isn't giving up the fight to get
medical marijuana legalized in Pennsylvania. He will bring up the bill
in the Senate again next year.

Pennsylvania will surely follow in the footsteps of states that have
legalized medical marijuana. Eventually.

Meanwhile the most vulnerable of patients who would benefit from the
use of cannabis oil -young children suffering from multiple seizures
daily - must continue to suffer while legislators drag their heels on
the issue.

How sad, and unnecessary.
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MAP posted-by: Richard